Caldo Verde is somewhat similar to a soup I made awhile back called Caldo Gallego. Both hail from similar parts of Europe and are decidedly inexpensive, peasants soups. Both feature dried chorizo prominently, which leaks its richly red oil into the soup's broth for color and flavor. Yet oneâ€”the Gallegoâ€”I loved. This one, not nearly as much. What was the problem? Usually recipes from River Cottage are reliable, but this one disappointed me. Since making it, I've started reading more about Caldo Verde and realized that kale or turnip greens, or something equally wintry and hardy, is an essential element to the dish. My recipe called for cabbage, which failed to impart not only the appropriate flavor, but also the green color that gives it its name. Green cabbage is not actually verde once cooked, which led to the yellow soup I ended up with. It still tasted goodâ€”nothing with pieces of chorizo could be badâ€”but it wasn't the sort of result you'd call a national dish. I'm still on the lookout for a good recipe. Next time I'll probably try the version from Leite's Culinaria. About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living for the year in Tartu, Estonia.