Kale Soup

It was about the time when I left home that my parents put together a folder of recipes for me to take along on my journey out into the world. The folder was a stiff card stock folder with pockets and brass push down clips to hold the paper in place. The pages were overstock from a printer who had a shop in the same building in which my mother worked. Each of the recipes came with a story and hand drawn illustrations (some by my mother and some by my father). The stories ranged from family history to the origins of the recipes.

In the Provincetown and Welfleet the population came and went with the changing of the seasons. The narrow spit of land, jutting out into Ocean was an amazing place. It teemed with people, life, and greenery in the summers and was desolate, quiet, and three shades of grey in the winter. I found it beautiful regardless of the seasons.

In the recipe folder drawn on the kale soup recipe there is a line illustration of gallon sized wine jugs inverted with leafy vegetables growing in them. I remember as a young boy walking through the quiet town with my friends in the late fall and early winter and seeing these bottles along the picket fences. They were all steamy in the bitter cold and wind. It was only after seeing the drawing and remembering my mother and fathers own garden that I drew a correlation. I started a garden in earnest just last year, and our kale grew right through the winter. It is an amazing vegetable.

The following recipe is based on a straight forward Portuguese kale soup and is great; kale haters and children both tend to chow this one.


1 Large heavy soup pot with a lid

1 large or 2 small bunches of kale soaked for 10 minutes and washed thoroughly in cold water. Strain the kale in a colander and set aside.

4 Carrots chopped into 1/2 inch rounds

1 can of red kidney beans

1 large yellow onion coarsely chopped

3 medium sized potatoes peeled and chopped into roughly 1 inch pieces

1 Tablespoon Basil

1 Tablespoon Oregano

1 Teaspoon of Smoked paprika

1 Package (a pound of linguica sausage)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Boullion Chicken or vegetable

About 3 cups of water


1. Heat a large, heavy soup pot for a few moments and add oil.

2. Add linguica sausage (watch for the spatter) and fry for a minute or two until it starts to brown.

3. Add the onions and fry for a minute or two until they start to become translucent.

4. Add 2 cups of water, the boullion, and stir.

5. Add potatoes, carrots and beans.

6. With the broth still boiling add half of the kale and put the lid on and let it wilt from the steam. Remove the lid and stir the kale in. Add the remaining kale and replace the lid. Once the second batch of kale has wilted stir the soup well. Add the spices.

7. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour or two. I usually make this in the morning and leave it simmering most of the day. Check on it occasionally and give it a stir.

8. Serve it up with some toasted bread, cheese, or just enjoy a hearty soup.

This is a great fall and winter soup.



2 Responses to “Kale Soup”

  1. Sharli Says:

    I too have this recipe in my very own binder of recipes from my mom and dad, but I’ve made a delicious addition — lentils. So instead of traditional kale soup and traditional lentil soup, I now make lentil kale soup and it is delicious. And yes my children love it.

  2. celine Says:

    I like using white beans instead of red kidneys in this soup. Yum!

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