Portuguese Kale Zupa

This soup tastes of spring - clean and fresh - and isn’t the least bit heavy. We can thank the Portuguese fishermen from the Cape Verde Islands and the Azores who settled on our eastern shores for the basic idea of the recipe. I don’t believe there is a definitive formula for this classic because I’ve not found two identical recipes. Like so many well-known foods, this soup has been morphed over time by the addition of different spices, vegetables and other seasonings. I’ve kept things simple by including the defining kale along with onion, garlic, sausage, chicken stock and olive oil. (Missoulian 5/2009)

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  • 2 bunches young kale (1 pound total)
  • 1 pound linguica, chorizo or kielbasa (I use low-fat turkey kielbasa)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 large yellow onions (1 1/2 pounds total), chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock (see note)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds total), peeled and diced (about 1/2 inch)
  • 2 cups cooked beans (cannelini, limas, red kidney; drain and rinse well if using canned beans)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons salt. Meanwhile, remove and discard the stems from the kale and cut the leafy parts into bite-size pieces. Add the kale to the pot, stir, and boil covered for 3 to 5 minutes, just until tender - no longer. Test a piece after 3 minutes. The kale will be heated a bit more during the final stages of soup preparation.

  2. Drain the kale in a colander and immediately half-fill the cooking

  3. pot with cold water. Dump the kale into the pot, swish it around for about 1 minute to cool quickly, and drain again in the colander. Dry the pot to use later. Leave the kale while

  4. you prepare the soup base.

  5. Cut the sausage into 1/2-inch-thick slices. In a large skillet (12-inches), heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, arrange the sausage in a single layer in the pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned and crusty. Remove the sausage with kitchen tongs and set on paper towels to drain.

  6. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot used for the kale and set it over medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Stir well, cover the pot, and cook about 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes.

  7. Add the sausage, chicken stock, salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons if stock is unsalted), bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Bring to the boil and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and cook slowly until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cooked beans.

  8. The soup may be prepared to this point hours ahead. When cool, cover and refrigerate.

  9. When ready to serve, bring the soup to the simmer, uncovered, over medium heat. Stir in the kale and parsley and heat until piping hot. The kale’s color will be a vibrant green. Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve at once.
February 2012

This recipe is a personal recipe added by WesternLady and has not been tested or endorsed by MyRecipes.

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