Portuguese Kale Soup



Kale Soup is a favorite in Provincetown, Mass. where we vacationed last week.  There used to be a very large population of Portuguese in Provincetown and the Outer Cape — most were fishermen, though there are fewer now.  Kale Soup is on almost every menu in Provincetown restaurants and every local has their own particular way of making it.  All versions, however, are centered around a traditional Portuguese pork sausage known as linguiça.  It has hints of tomato, and spices, though not as hot as chorizo.  I was told the best Linguiça comes from Gaspar’s (which we found in the local grocery store) and we brought some home with us so I could give it a try.  Believe me, this is a fabulous and flavorful soup.  Serve with some crusty bread for “sopping” up and you’ve got a great supper for a chilly night.



(Makes about 8 servings)


Hammertown.com photo


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium-size onions, chopped
  • 3/4 to 1 pound linguiça, sliced, then halve the slices (you can also use Kielbasa which is very similar)
  • 5-6 cups chicken broth (can substitute one cup of broth with water)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
  • Good pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound fresh kale, washed, stems discarded, shred or chiffonade into small pieces (4-5 cups packed shredded kale)
  • 1 12 oz. can white beans (or use one cup dried Northern or Canellini beans soaked overnight) – some people use red kidney beans
  • 2-3 medium-large potatoes, peeled or unpeeled & scrubbed, large dice (I used red and yukon potatoes)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)

NOTE: Some recipes also add a cup or two of diced tomatoes but I chose not to.


Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat.  Add the onion, garlic and stir, cook for 5 minutes then add linguiça and cook another minute or so.

Add the potatoes, carrots, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and thyme plus 4 cups chicken broth and kale.  Cover and let kale cook down stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.

Add beans and the rest of the broth (you can add more if the soup is too thick) and simmer until the potatoes and beans are tender – about 25 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with crusty bread.



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