Mike's Kale Soup

Portuguese Kale & Sausage Soup
Mike's Portuguese kale soup is served here in a crock

There may be better soups for a winter's evening, but we have never bumped into them. Kale Soup was brought to Cape Cod by the our first settlers, the Portuguese fishermen from the Cape Verde Islands and the Azores long before the English, French and others arrived on our shores.

The Cape Verdeans were only summer visitors, however, coming here to fish in the warm season but always returning to Europe each Fall.

Because of this they never established permanent, yearround settlements like the English and the French, only fishing camps to which they returned the each summer. Their descendents still have a strong influence on The Cape, and Portuguese-Americans are a big part of towns like Harwich and Provincetown.

Our present Lower State Representitive, Shirley Gomes, is one such. If those Portuguese fisherfolk had stayed yearround, you and I would be speaking Portuguese today, and this soup recipe would preceed the Cozido à Portuguese at Yuletide.

Mike's recipe for Portuguese kale soup


Mike introduces a wonderful Spanish sausage on the left to the usual Portuguese sausage above in his own version of this great Iberian specialty

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound linguiça (Portuguese sausage), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 pound chouriço (Spanish sausage), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 2 large Red Bliss potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans, drained & rins
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound kale, well washed, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 loaf crusty Portuguese bread

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the sausage, garlic and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until onions are translucent. Add the parsley and the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add the bay leaves, thyme and crushed red pepper. Add the potatoes and kale. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about another 30 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove the bay leaves.

To serve, pour the soup into individual soup bowls and serve with the bread.

Yield: 8 servings

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