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Portuguese Kale Soup – Bowl of Delicious

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Published November 6, 2023. Last updated November 6, 2023 By Elizabeth Lindemann &nbsp&nbsp/&nbsp&nbspThis post may contain affiliate links.Jump to Recipe – Print

Portuguese Kale Soup is so much more than just greens or kale! Traditionally, Portuguese smoked sausages, such as chouriço or linguiça, are used as the meaty base, with beans added as well as potatoes, making for an incredibly hearty and nourishing soup. If you can’t get your hands on Portuguese sausages, you can easily use a Spanish chorizo, Kielbasa, or another smoked sausage of your choice. You’ll love the little bit of apple cider vinegar added at the end!

I’m all about a dinner soup! You know, a soup that has everything you need for it to be a complete meal? Protein, starch, and veggies all in one. It’s a soul-warming one-pot meal that will leave you satisfied. (Though I wouldn’t say no to a side of crusty buttered no knead bread here, either).

You’ll love Portuguese Kale Soup, a staple in Portuguese cuisine. Living in Rhode Island, it was easy for me to get my hands on some linguiça and chouriço for this recipe, both common Portuguese sausages. But you can use any smoked sausage you have available to make it – kielbasa, Spanish chorizo, etc.

Much of the flavor of the soup comes from the sausage itself, so do make sure you get a good one! I prefer a spicy smoked sausage for this Portuguese soup. And don’t worry – if you’re not a fan of kale, there are plenty of other options too. As long as you have a leafy green in there, you’re good!

One note: There are a few kinds of versions of Portuguese Kale Soup and Caldo Verde, sometimes referred in recipes as the same, but recently it was brought to my attention that they are two distinctly different soups. Some have beans, some don’t. Some use an immersion blender to blend the potatoes to a creamy potato base before adding the cooked sausage and kale in. In Caldo Verde, small chiffonade cut greens are used, which meld more into the broth making it appear green (“Green Soup”). I opted to use chunks of Yukon gold potatoes, which are soft but keep their shape, and didn’t blend it, for a chunkier version of the soup.

Here’s more on the differences between Caldo Verde and Kale Soup!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Linguiça and/or Chouriço – Portuguese sausages, or other smoked sausage, such as Spanish chorizo or kielbasa.


Garlic – and lots of it!

Potatoes – I used Yukon gold, but any kind will do. Waxy potatoes will keep their shape more, starchy such as russet potatoes will fall apart a bit (not necessarily a bad thing, and will help thicken the soup).

Red Kidney Beans – or white beans such as Cannellini beans.

Kale – or other green, such as collard greens, spinach, or cabbage. Keep in mind, different greens taste different and take different times to cook. Spinach has a mild taste and cooks almost instantly when added to the hot soup, whereas cabbage has a strong flavor and takes longer to cook.

Water and/or chicken broth – the sausage adds a lot of flavor to this soup, so broth isn’t 100% necessary! I did half and half for mine.

Apple cider vinegar – technically optional, but highly recommended! You can add a few tablespoons to the whole pot or a few drops to each individual bowl of soup.

Salt and Pepper

How to make Portuguese Kale Soup

Cook the sliced sausage in some olive oil until it’s browned and the fat renders. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or so, until fragrant. Then add the potatoes and water, along with some salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer on low until potatoes are tender. Finally, add the beans and kale, heating for another few minutes until kale is wilted down. Season to taste and add apple cider vinegar to the pot or individual bowls of soup.

Sauté sausage, onions, and garlic.

Add potatoes and water/broth.

Add beans.

Stir kale into soup.

Tips and Tricks

Drain and rinse the canned beans thoroughly. The liquid in canned beans often causes indigestion, and also contains extra salt that isn’t needed in this soup.

Kale is delicious when grown in cold weather or prepared properly. When grown in the hotter months, it can sometimes have a bitter taste. You can plunge it into ice water after chopping it up to take away some of the bitterness. Here’s more on how to prep kale, including decreasing bitterness and taking the stems off.

You can freeze the leftovers, however, the texture of the potatoes will be changed slightly from freezing. That’s never stopped me, though!

Can you use another leafy green besides Kale in in this Portuguese Soup?

Yes! Some recipes use spinach, some cabbage, and some collard greens. Or a mix! Keep in mind, using another green vegetable may affect cooking time and flavor/texture. For example, spinach has a mild taste and very soft texture, and takes almost no time to wilt down. Cabbage, on the other hand, has a strong taste. Collard greens take a while to cook down, so you may want to add them with the potatoes towards the beginning of the recipe.

Other recipes with Kale

Kale is such a surprisingly versatile vegetable! Aside from Portuguese Kale Soup, I love making kale pesto, and adding it to pizza (it gets super crispy, like in this bacon and kale pizza!). Kale is wonderful as the leafy base in salad (especially if you massage the dressing into the kale leaves, like this Massaged Kale Salad with Apples, Goat Cheese, and Maple Vinaigrette).

Other favorite soup recipes

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Portuguese Kale Soup

Portuguese Kale Soup is so much more than just greens or kale! Portuguese smoked sausages, such as chouriço or linguiça, are used as the meaty base, with beans added as well as potatoes, making for an incredibly hearty and nourishing soup. If you can’t get your hands on Portuguese sausages, you can easily use a Spanish chorizo, Kielbasa, or another smoked sausage of your choice. You’ll love the little bit of tangy apple cider vinegar added at the end!

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Course: SoupCuisine: Portuguese
Prep Time: 10 minutes minutesCook Time: 25 minutes minutesTotal Time: 35 minutes minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 403kcal
Author: Elizabeth Lindemann

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Ingredients2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 lb. linguiça and/or chouriço sliced (if not available, use another smoked sausage, such as Spanish chorizo or kielbasa)1 large yellow onion diced4 cloves garlic diced small8 cups chicken broth and/or water I used half chicken broth, half water2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced (about 4 medium potatoes)1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more if needed½ teaspoon black pepper plus more if needed30 oz. canned red kidney beans drained and rinsed (or white/cannellini beans)1 bunch kale stems removed, finely chopped (about 1 lb., or other leafy green or combination of choice, see notes)apple cider vinegar for serving (optional)
InstructionsHeat the 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the 1 lb. linguiça and/or chouriço and cook for about 3 minutes, until fat starts to render and they begin to brown. Add the diced 1 large yellow onion and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the minced 4 cloves garlic and stir to coat, sautéing for another 30 seconds – 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.Add the 8 cups chicken broth and/or water, diced 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender when you stick a fork in them, for about 15 minutes. This is a good time to prep the kale and drain and rinse the beans.Add the chopped 1 bunch kale and the drained and rinsed 30 oz. canned red kidney beans to the pot. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes or so, until the kale has wilted.Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a few drops of apple cider vinegar in each bowl, if using, or stir in 2-3 tablespoons to the whole pot.

Instead of kale, or in addition to, you can use other leafy greens, such as spinach, collards, or cabbage. Keep in mind that different greens need different cooking times and will result in different textures and flavors – spinach, for example, will be very mild in flavor and take almost no time to cook, whereas collards take a longer time, and cabbage will add a different flavor to the soup.
Leftovers may need more water or broth added to them, as the potatoes will continue absorbing the liquid and thicken the soup. 
You can freeze the soup, but potatoes do tend to change texture slightly if frozen. It’s never stopped me before, though!
If you use water instead of chicken broth, you will likely need more salt added to the soup. If you do use all chicken broth, make sure it’s low sodium, as the sausage will already have a fair amount of salt.

NutritionCalories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1093mg | Potassium: 1086mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5668IU | Vitamin C: 78mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Information DisclaimerThe provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:
Very Well Fit Nutrition Information Calculator

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