Caldo Verde: Portuguese Cabbage Soup

My Portuguse/Israeli friend Betzalel sent me his mother’s cabbage soup recipe. It only has four ingredients, not counting water. When you have almost nothing in the house but want a quick nutritious soup, this is a good one to try.

He didn’t include quantities. I think they are rather flexible. I would start by covering the potatoes with water.


  • Water
  • Peeled potatoes, cut in eighths.
  • Salt
  • Olive oil (Extra-virgin is, of course, the best!)
  • Shredded collard greens, savoy cabbage or kale leaves.


  1. Boil the water with the potatoes, salt, and about a tablespoon of oil. Some recipes say to add some garlic, but I don’t know how it will taste because in my family we don’t use it for this recipe. Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are done.

  2. Blend with an immersion blender. Some people like to leave chunks of potato. If the mixture is too thick add some water, if it’s too liquidy you can add more cabbage than you would.

  3. Now add the greens. No need to simmer them first because they cook quickly.

  4. Check after a minute or two for doneness. Some people like their cabbage a little crisp.

Grandma’s tip: Cook without the lid so the leaves won’t lose their color.

Betzalel, thank you for this recipe. It’ll be good as it is, but you can also add cooking water from vegetables or other leftovers, herbs and spices.


  1. Thank you in the first place for posting the recipe!

    Yes, using water from vegetables or chicken broth might be really good!

    You can also take this soup to a different level by;

    * adding a tea spoon of mayonnaise or a poached egg in each soup bowl or a lot (as I like) of olive oil – if you want to keep it parve;

    * adding a tea spoon of butter – if you want it more chalavi/milky

    * adding 2cm thick slices of kosher smoked sausage. You can serve 2 slices per person – by just putting it in the soup bowl or put in the pot some minutes before serve. It depends on how you like the soup to have a meaty taste and if you want to cook the sausage a little bit – this being, of course, the basari/meaty/fleishig version!

    Please can you write to boil the water with the potatoes, salt and *olive oil*? I didn’t write that!

  2. This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing ladies.

  3. I am a Guy! 😉

  4. Hi,
    An important ingredient is missing in this recipe!
    Here in Portugal we use to add slices of portuguese chorizo (salty, red sausage) at the end, along with the cabbage.
    The taste of chorizo makes all the difference!
    Greetings from Portugal

  5. eu gostie muito metodo de fazer soupa de repolho.Mas penso que bocado de periperi podia fazer milagre.chao

    Mana Chuabo

  6. Algarve Villas says

    Kale works best in this recipe!