Mar 012012


Frijoles Borrachos Meet Caldo Verde, with Toasty Bread

Frijoles Borrachos Meet Caldo Verde, with Toasty Bread


Fresh late-winter/early-spring vegetables at the Farmer’s Market combined with lingering cold temperatures make me think of soups featuring baby, hearty greens. I developed this particular soup last spring; its lingering memory made me eager to recreate it this year, with a few small variations. ¬†(Let’s just say I added too much beer last year. A coworker walked into the breakroom while I was reheating some for lunch and asked if I was drinking. She was disappointed to learn it was just soup.)

First, let’s cover the inspiration for this soup. On the one hand, we have frijoles borrachos, a simple and addictive Mexican dish featuring pinto beans simmered with onions, garlic, chiles, and beer. (A savory side dish that’s wonderful in its own right– try it as a side for enchiladas, (I’m getting really parenthetical here, but I promise I’ll post one of my many enchilada-appropriate sauces soon. )) On the other hand, Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup consisting of greens (usually kale) and spicy sausage (usually linguica), in broth, along with onions and garlic.

In this soup, I combine the two concepts into one satisfying bowl. I’ve subbed chard for the kale because the beautiful, baby rainbow chard leaves at the Farmer’s Market this weekend were¬†irresistible.

Baby Rainbow Chard, Washed and Ready

Baby Rainbow Chard, Washed and Ready



Caldo Verde con Frijoles Borrachos


  • 4 mildly spicy cured pork sausages, such as linguica or andouille
  • 1 lb washed greens, such as kale or chard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 12 oz (a cup and a half) beer (preferably a Mexican lager)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1-2 cups water
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Dice the sausage and render in the olive oil, over low heat, in a stock pot.
  2. Dice the onions and jalapeno and add to the sizzling sausage and oil with a bit of ground black pepper; saute until onions are clear.
  3. Mince the garlic and add to the pot; stir and cook briefly.
  4. Add the beer and turn up the heat until the liquid is slightly reduced.
  5. Add the chicken stock and beans. Add 1-2 cups water as well until desired soup consistency is reached.
  6. Dice the greens into bite-sized ribbons (be sure to include colorful stems, in the case of chard), and add.
  7. Simmer soup at least 20 minutes. Taste, and salt as necessary.
  8. Serve steaming bowls with hunks of fresh-baked bread.

  3 Responses to “Frijoles Borrachos Meet Caldo Verde for a Satisfying Late Winter Soup”

  1. I look forward to cheickng out all these recipes, since your borracho recipe looked so yummy (i’m sure it will still be good minus the bacon a friend gave me a smoked pheasant for the holidays and i think some of that meat will add the right smokieness to the dish)!To your good health, too!

    • Great soup! I am glad to have found you from your guest post at EatingDeliciously because I am such a helathy foodie too. This soup uses such simple ingredients that I really think anyone can try making this at home. I still use the stove top or a thermal pot for making soup, but I do know people who use a rice cooker because it is easy!

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