The Best Portuguese Kale Soup is a delicious way to enjoy healthy kale! Sausage, beans and potatoes simmer with kale and plenty of garlic. Read on for details, or click here to jump down to the recipe. Article originally published in January 2016 and updated with new wine pairing suggestions as part of the Wine Pairing Weekend focusing on Portuguese wine and food. If you’d like to get right to the wine pairing info, click here
I probably make this Portuguese Kale Soup more than any other soup recipe. I’ve tweaked a few things over time, and the result is my Best Portuguese Kale Soup recipe I’m sharing with you today.
When I first wrote up this recipe in the winter of 2016, I had planned to make a batch of the Best Portuguese Kale Soup before I knew temperature were going to be in the single digits for much of the day. Boy, were we glad to dig into steaming bowls of this kale soup last night after coming in from the cold. Sausage, beans and potatoes simmer along with the kale and plenty of garlic for a hearty, full-flavored soup. A great way to enjoy some healthy kale!
When I first started making Caldo Verde, as the dish is called in Portuguese, I followed the kale soup recipe from Thoughtful Eating. In addition to covering the basics of the traditional recipe in that post, Raquel also provided some great tips, like thickening the soup by breaking some of the potatoes up against the side of the soup pot.
Though the basic approach is the same, my Best Portuguese Kale Soup recipe departs in a few ways from the traditional version. I like to use andouille sausage instead of the traditional chorizo (known as chouriço in Portuguese); I like the garlicky flavors of andouille. I often use turkey andouille sausage for a healthier soup, with the same tasty results. I always add some beans–I think some versions you will find do that, but I don’t think it’s standard. The other twist in my Best Portuguese Kale Soup is the use of a bit of butternut squash, which adds a touch of sweetness to go along with the spice. This tasty innovation was the result of some extra squash on hand one chilly fall evening! But feel free to skip the squash if you’d like, I make it without the squash sometimes and it still tastes good.
So give my recipe a try on a cold night. I bet you will find yourself making it again and again, and you might come up with a few tasty variations of your own, and lay claim to your own Best Portuguese Kale Soup recipe! You can also have fun trying different Portuguese wine to pair with kale soup.
Wine Pairing for the Best Portuguese Kale Soup
Portuguese red wine is the natural choice to pair with Portuguese Kale Soup. Portugal is a great source of wine values. I typically look for a red blend from the Duoro region including the Touriga Nacional variety. But grab whatever Portuguese red you can get your hands on and give it a try!
When I originally posted this recipe, I recommended the 2012 Tinta Boa ($11), a blend of Portuguese grapes Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional.
The 2015 JP Azeitão Red ($8, 13.5% ABV) is another good Portuguese red wine value I’ve tried recently that could work with the kale soup. The wine is from Peninsula de Setubal, comprised of 55 % Syrah along with Portuguese varietals Castelão (25%) and Arogonez (20%). This Portuguese wine has a bright, fruity nose. Taste of strawberry and bit of licorice. Light and easy drinking. I originally served this as a nice pairing for our Vegetarian Kale Soup; a variation of this Portuguese kale soup recipe that features tempeh in place of the sausage.
Portugal provides a great chance to try some new new wine grape varietals. The most recent time I made Portuguese kale soup, I served it with a wine that takes new wine grape exposure to the extreme. 2014 Achado E Perdidos 28 Uvas ($12, 13.5% ABV) is a red wine made from a field blend of 28 grape varieties, none of which I’ve seen outside of Portuguese wine (see list below).
The 28 Uvas is deep purple in the glass. Spring flowers on the nose. Well-balanced, cherry and strawberry fruit with a bit of licorice. Definitely another great wine pairing for our Portuguese Kale Soup!
Achados E Perdidos means “lost and found i” Portuguese. The winery is located on one of the steepest terraced bands on the banks of the Duoro River. The winemakers João Silva e Sousa and Francisco Baptista found an old vineyard planted in schist soils, where 28 native Portuguese wine grape varietals were grown together. Field blends like 28 Uvas were common in Portugal before a modern trend toward trying more popular international grapes. Thus they have “found” a traditional Portuguese vineyard and are producing some very good wine from it.
The grape varietals in 28 Uvas are Alicante Bouschet, Alvarelhão, Baga, Bastardo, Bastardo Roxo, Donzelinha Tinto, Esgana Cão Tinto, Folgazão Roxo, Jaen, Malvasia, Malvasia Roxa, Mourisco, Mourisco Semente, Mourisco de Trevões, Periquita, Refute, Souto, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Carvalha, Tinta da Barca, Toureira Femea, Toureira Franca, Tinta Francisca, Toureira Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta de Tabuaço.
Some of the winery description and the list of grape varietals come from Princeton Corkscrew.
- 2 andouille sausages (I often like to use turkey sausage for a healthier dish)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 medium potatoes, chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2½ cups of water
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed & coarsely chopped
- 1 14.5 oz can red kidney beans
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes & salt to taste
- Heat a large soup pan with oil spray. Add the sausages and cook for 5 minutes or so to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the sausages and set aside to cool. When they have cooled, slice the sausage in half lengthwise, then cut into semi-circles ½ inch thick. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil on medium in the soup pan, then add the onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add carrots and sauté a few more minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes, then the butternut squash and garlic. Cook for a minute or two, then add the chicken stock and water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to simmer on medium for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes the veggies should be starting to get soft. Use a sturdy spoon to smash some of the potato and butternut against the side of the pot, to thicken the soup. Stir in the kale in a few batches, to allow some to cook down a bit to create more room. Add salt to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Stir in the sausage and the kidney beans. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes to let all the flavors meld. More cooking time is great, too, if you've got the time! When it's cooked to your liking, serve with a crusty bread and glass of Portuguese wine to round things out.
Portuguese Wine & Food with Wine Pairing Weekend
- From Camilla Mann of Culinary Adventures with Camilla: “Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato with a Vinho Verde”
- From Jill Barth of L’Occasion: “The Plurality of Portuguese Wine”
- From Lori Budd of Dracaena Wine : “Portugal’s Political History Effects It’s Culinary and Wine Culture”
- From David Crowley of Cooking Chat: “Best Portuguese Kale Soup”
- From Nicole Ruiz Hudson of Nibbling Gypsy: “Cooking to the Wine: Passagem Douro Reserva with Spiced Wine Braised Octopus”
- From Lauren Walsh of The Swirling Dervish: “Talego – A Taste of Portugal in Paris.”
- From Wendy Klik of A Day on the Farm: “Rustic and Red”
- From Sue and Gwen at Wine Predator: “Portugal: Wine, Castles, Cobbles, Coastline, Cuisine