How many of us rely on a little ditty to remember which way to turn the clocks? Spring forward, fall back– every spring we lose an hour, every fall we gain it back. Did we really gain an hour last week? No, the sun just sets earlier. Huh? For the record, I think daylight savings time is awesome, it’s just that every fall, there’s the getting used to earlier darkness. What to do? Make soup–vegetarian Portuguese kale and potato soup.
Guaranteed, a hearty soup dinner will warm these darkening days. Especially when it’s rich with potato chunks, tender white beans, tomatoes, and dark green shredded kale.
We call it Portuguese because we’re not there; kale and potato soup and all its interpretations are known as caldo verde in Europe’s westernmost country. Like Tuscan minestrone or Russian borscht, Portuguese kale and potato soup ingredients vary according to the cook—one family’s soup is probably different than the neighbor’s.
As a meatless cook, I’m slow to tell you that caldo verde traditionally includes mildly spiced chorizo sausage. To be stellar, a hearty soup loaded with kale, potatoes, and beans certainly doesn’t need meat, but I wanted to keep the spicy sausage flavor and chewy texture you get with cooked chorizo. Times like these, I shop in the parallel aisle, and swap in a vegan meat alternative.
Yeah– just like they do about daylight savings time, people have their opinions about vegetarians eating fake meat. Serve this rendition of the classic Portuguese kale and potato soup to meat lovers and vegetarians alike—they’ll be thrilled. Enough to forget how early it got dark!
- Inspiration for this interpretation of Portuguese kale and potato soup comes from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor D’Avila Latourrette. Brother Victor uses dried white beans and simmers the soup two hours. When the beans are already cooked, e.g. with canned beans, we cut stove time down to 45 minutes.
- Using a pressure cooker, I had this soup on the table in 30 minutes, start to finish, no exaggeration. The cooked beans and browned soysage crumbles go in after the pressure comes down.
- No bones about it ;-), meat alternatives are processed, faux food. I think it’s worth citing the “everything in moderation” clause, and adding vegetarian soysage. If you’d prefer to make your own–try these recipes for tofu “chorizo” or vegan “sausage.”
Each month, Becky of Vintage Mixer orchestrates an #eatseasonal recipe roundup featuring produce listed in her seasonal food guide. This soup is part of November’s roundup. For more seasonal inspiration, peruse the chart with the cabbage print, and then follow the links to more seasonal recipes. Celebrate November’s bounty—cook something delicious!
Butternut Squash Apple Soup with Sage Parmesan Croutons by Well Plated
Whole Wheat Pancakes with Balsamic Caramel Apples by Climbing Grier Mountain
Easy Cranberry, Apple & Pomegranate Sauce by Cookin’ Canuck
Beet, Goat Cheese and Hazelnut Galette by Vintage Mixer
Endive Salad Bites with Pears, Blue Cheese, & Pecans by Flavor the Moments
Pumpkin Roll by Foodie Crush
Butternut Squash Burrito Bowls by Mountain Mama
Slow Cooker Creamy Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili by Bless this Mess
Butternut Squash and Rosemary Biscuits by Completely Delicious
Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes with Sage Browned Butter by Floating Kitchen
Honey Roasted Beets and Kale by Food for My Family
Homemade Cinnamon Apple Pop-Tarts by From Gate to Plate
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** This recipe is an update of the soup I posted in October 2009, on my old muffintalk.wordpress.com blog. No photos back then. You will love this soup, and like me, make it for years and years!
This soup could almost be a stew, it’s so loaded with potatoes, kale, potatoes and white beans—and “secret” sausage.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups water
- 1 (15-ounce) can seasoned diced or stewed tomatoes (see note)
- 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut in ½-inch cubes
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stems removed and discarded, coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces sausage-style meat alternative, cut in ½-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, sweet or spicy
- 1 ¾ cups cooked white beans, one (15-ounce) can
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon Real Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the first tablespoon of oil in a soup pot. Over medium flame, sauté the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add the water, tomatoes, potatoes, and kale. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a wide (preferably non-stick) skillet. Using a wooden spoon to smash the pieces, cook the veggie sausage with smoked paprika until nicely browned.
- When the potatoes are done, add the beans, faux meat, vinegar and salt. Generously grind in black pepper, like 30 grinds. Taste, and add more salt, if needed. Cook a few more minutes, until the beans are heated through.
I used Italian-style tomatoes, seasoned with onion, garlic and oregano.