Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

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.

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.

Lacinato Kale stems and leaves for Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

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.

veggie sausage for Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

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!

Recipe details:

  • 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.

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

  • 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.

veggie sausage for Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

  • 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!

November Seasonal Produce Guide

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

November Seasonal Recipes collage

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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!

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup.

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



  • I knew I should have checked here… I just published a post on Tuscan kale. How was Mexico? Feel fluent again? Reply · 17 November, 2009

  • Soup is my go-to staple this time of year. Daylight Savings has me kind of grumpy (I don’t like complete darkness at 4:30!) and soups always manage to comfort me and sooth my emotions. Gorgeous dish, friend! Reply · 9 November, 2015

    • Thanks Liz. Yes there is nothing like soup for comfort food! Reply · 9 November, 2015

  • I do have to remember that little ditty about spring forward fall backward. I never feel like I gained an hour of sleep either. This soup would be the perfect meal for a cold evening — this is right up my alley! Reply · 9 November, 2015

    • Thanks Marcie. Daylight savings both spring and fall feel like a miniature case of jet-lag that only soup will cure! Reply · 9 November, 2015

  • Sausage with kale?! NOW you’re talking! Gorgeous soup and your pictures are just lovely. Reply · 9 November, 2015

    • Thanks Melissa. You will fall in love with all the flavors together! Reply · 9 November, 2015

  • I love any soup that includes beans, kale and sausage and the fact that it comes from a Monastery cookbook makes it even more wonderful! I could eat this soup all winter long! Reply · 9 November, 2015

    • Thanks Becky. I’m also grateful for your Eat Seasonal organizing–lots of fun. Reply · 9 November, 2015

  • Sounds so good. Thank you. Reply · 9 November, 2015

  • Looks hearty and perfect for the cold weather we’re having. I’m so checking out the veggie sausage! Reply · 9 November, 2015

    • I know you’ll love how it feels and behaves a lot like real meat–but is vegan! Reply · 11 November, 2015

  • Patti

    This is very similar to a Potato Kale soup you posted with our CSA years ago. It is my son’s favorite soup; the only change we make is substituting kielbasa for the sausage since we eat meat;) Reply · 10 November, 2015

    • Yes, you got it Patti. This recipe is a direct descendant of the CSA recipe–with photos! Reply · 11 November, 2015

  • I love these hearty stews! Reply · 11 November, 2015

    • Glad to hear that Tammy–me too! Reply · 11 November, 2015

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