Doctor up caldo verde without linguica?

I got kale and potatoes this week just to make caldo verde. But I don’t have linguica at home, and don’t plan on looking for it in the market. Any favorite ways to doctor up the soup when the sausage is not available? I have some chicken sausage that seems like a totally wrong type of sausage for the soup.

If you are not going to a supermarket to pick up Spanish chorizo then I would suggest frying your chicken sausage. Slice it in thick rounds, fried on both sides, season with something red and spicy or just paprika powder. It won’t be Caldo Verde* though, just potato soup.

I made something similar recently with leftover smoked sausage. (see lunch thread)

*pronounced “cal-doo vehrd”

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You think salame would make a better substitute? I got some, but I think the fennel taste may get in the way. Not smoked.

I think it would be fine if you make it slightly crispy (not charred).

Love fennel, both the seeds and the bulbs. Add them to many things myself.

What flavor is the chicken sausage? If it’s not something like chicken apple, or chicken feta, I’d use that and add some extra garlic to the soup. Or go a different direction and make the italian version – zuppa toscana. Similar ingredients. I’ve used smoked chicken sausage and chicken italian sausage in that before.

I think it’s chicken with basil and something herbs. Not a strong tasting sausage.

I would bump up the amount of onions and garlic, get them nice and browned with olive oil, add your spices with a good bit of smoked paprika, and deglaze with a generous splash of beer or white wine, use a flavorful broth, and then add in cooked white beans once the potatoes are done cooking to add some heft to the soup and make it more creamy when blended. Add the kale and whatever else and when serving have some crusty toasted garlic bread handy, maybe add some non traditional parm for that umami help either to the top of the bowl or to the toasts.

If the idea of a vegetarian meal is a deal breaker then just make an appetizer plate with the salami and some pickles and crackers and such


I often make it without the sausage. My wife will not eat pork and I sub beef sausage but there is plenty of flavor if using a good stock for the soup even if the sausage is left out.


I think salame would work fairly well. When I make a veggie version for my son, I do as Trockwood suggests and up the onions and garlic and add some smoked paprika and crushed red pepper to mimic the flavor or the sausage. When I make a meat-based version, I use my husband’s Azorean grandmother’s recipe using linguica or chourico, which are garlicky and seasoned with paprika.

I ended up using the chicken sausage I had. Ironically my problem wasn’t the linguica or the substitute, but with the kale itself. The recipe calls for 30 minutes of boiling. I chopped the lacinto kale pretty fine and boiled them along with the russets for the requested time. The kale were not even close to being soft. I think I ended up boiling for double the amount. And the kale was just getting into acceptable texture. I couldn’t wait any longer and started eating. But the soup liquid and the kale/ potatoes were distinctly separate from each other. It tasted good, but could be better.

I think I may have to do some coarse blending next time.

I also found via that Whole Foods carries linguica that they make in the store. Anyone has experience with those?

I think I start my kale on the stove with the onions and sausage and cook down before adding potatoes and stock


I find that curly kale is softer than lacinato kale in general, i just buy the lacinato for kale chips. Next time you could either sautee the kale at the beginning with the aromatics or swap in a slightly softer green like chard (i remove the stems and either chop and sautee at the beginning or set aside to use for juice)
If you have leftovers blending a portion of the soup sounds like a good idea.

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The stems are my favorite part. Usually sweeter than the leaves

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Oh darn. I got lacinato kale again this week without thinking much. I guess I will start from the stove before adding to the soups.

Last time though, I discarded the stems thinking they may be too tough for the soup. I will leave them in the soup this time.

If you chop the stems and sautee first with onions and garlic and oil and such, then add shredded kale leaves to sautee a while , then a splash of liquid to braise on med/lowish heat til they get tender, then proceed with adding rest of the broth potatoes etc etc and let simmer a lot longer than you think is necessary it should be fine with the lacinato and give you silky flavorful greens.
Just takes some patience like most good soup does :slight_smile: