Traditional Portuguese Kale Soup Recipe (Hearty, Warming Soup)

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“Embark on a culinary voyage to the heart of Portugal with our Portuguese Kale Soup Recipe, a vibrant melody of flavors and textures. This hearty bowl weaves together the robustness of chorizo, the earthiness of beans, and the leafy goodness of kale, creating a symphony of taste in every spoonful. Tomatoes and potatoes dance in a savory broth, while a sprinkle of spices brings the tradition to life. Dive into this nourishing masterpiece, and let the rich, soulful flavors transport you to the cobblestone streets of Portugal!”

Venturing into Lisbon’s cobbled streets, I was embraced by an alluring aroma that danced through the evening air. My culinary compass led me to a rustic tavern where locals huddled, savoring the warmth of a centuries-old recipe — Portuguese Kale Soup.

Portuguese Kale Soup

The first spoonful unveiled a tapestry of flavor; earthy kale mingling with tender chunks of chorizo, their smoky richness grounding the brightness of fresh, plump tomatoes. As I immersed deeper into this comforting bowl, every ingredient, each with its unique tale, unveiled the heart of Portugal itself.

A medley of bold flavors echoing the nation’s maritime past and humble beginnings. As the evening wrapped up, the owner gifted me the heirloom recipe with a twinkle in his eye, saying, “This is not just soup; it’s a tradition, a connection to our roots.” 

Each sip is a journey, a narrative of Portugal’s resilient spirit, captured in a comforting, soul-nourishing bowl of soup.

What Is Portuguese Kale Soup?

Portuguese Kale Soup, often known as “Caldo Verde,” is a timeless culinary masterpiece from Portugal. This soup blends the earthy flavors of kale and potatoes, brightened by robust, smoky chorizo. A beloved dish for centuries, it marries simple, hearty ingredients to create a symphony of flavors. 

The rich broth offers a cozy, comforting warmth, making it an ideal meal for colder days. Beyond its nourishing goodness, each bowl of Caldo Verde carries the soul of Portuguese tradition, offering an authentic taste of its rich culture. Delve into this comforting bowl to discover a culinary narrative of Portugal’s history.

Portuguese Kale Soup

Can You Vary The Portuguese Kale Soup With Other Ingredients?

Yes, Portuguese Kale Soup can be adapted to suit various diets:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Replace chorizo with a plant-based sausage or smoked tofu, and use vegetable broth instead of beef bones.
  • Gluten-Free: The original recipe is already gluten-free, excluding wheat-based ingredients.
  • Paleo/Whole30: Omit white pea beans and replace potatoes with sweet or compliant root vegetables.
  • Keto: Swap potatoes for lower-carb veggies like cauliflower or radishes, and omit the beans.
Portuguese Kale Soup

Recipe Directions

  • Soak beans in water for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Combine soaked beans, chorizo, soup bones, and 1 quart of water in a large pot. Cook on medium heat for 1 hour.
  • Add cabbage, kale, and potatoes to the pot. Pour in enough hot water to cover the ingredients. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Portuguese Kale Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Portuguese Kale Soup Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings Variations: Add cannellini beans for extra protein or replace chorizo with andouille sausage for a Cajun twist.

  • Vegan/Vegetarian Version: Use plant-based sausage and vegetable broth. You could also add lentils or chickpeas for protein.
  • Keto Version: Swap potatoes for low-carb vegetables like cauliflower.
  • Add-Ons: Add other vegetables, such as carrots or leeks, for added nutrients and flavor complexity.
  • Toppings: A sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes can give a spicy kick. Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro will add a touch of color and freshness.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve with a slice of crusty bread for dipping or a lemon wedge on the side for a tangy twist.
Portuguese Kale Soup

Can I Make Portuguese Kale Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Yes, you can adapt the Portuguese Kale Soup recipe for both a slow cooker and an Instant Pot:

Slow Cooker

  • Follow the same preparation steps, but add all ingredients to the slow cooker instead of cooking on the stove. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours until the beans are tender.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function to brown the chorizo, then add the remaining ingredients. Seal the Instant Pot and set it to manual high pressure for about 15 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then a quick release.
Portuguese Kale Soup

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Both store-bought and homemade broths can be used in Portuguese Kale Soup, depending on your time and preference.

Store-Bought Broth

  • This is a convenient option that can save you a lot of time. Look for low-sodium versions to control your soup’s salt content.

Homemade Broth 

  • If you have time, the homemade broth will provide a depth of flavor that’s hard to match with store-bought versions. You can make it from vegetable scraps, leftover bones, or both.
Portuguese Kale Soup recipe

How To Serve? 

  • Bread on the Side: Traditionally, this soup is served with a slice of Portuguese cornbread (broa). A crusty baguette or a piece of sourdough bread would also work well.
  • Garnish: A drizzle of high-quality olive oil or a sprinkle of fresh parsley can add a finishing touch.
  • As a Starter: It can be served as a warming starter before a main course.
  • Main Course: This hearty soup can also be satisfying with bread and a side salad.
  • Pairing: Pair it with a glass of vinho verde, a young Portuguese wine, for a complete Portuguese culinary experience.
Portuguese Kale Soup

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Sandwiches: A simple ham and cheese sandwich or a more robust Portuguese bifana (pork) could pair nicely.
  • Salads: A fresh green salad with a lemon vinaigrette or a tomato salad with fresh basil and mozzarella can balance the soup’s richness.
  • First Course: If serving the soup as a starter, a traditional Portuguese main like Bacalhau a Bras (codfish with scrambled eggs and potatoes) or Arroz de Pato (duck rice) could follow.
  • Cheese and Bread: A selection of Portuguese cheeses served with crusty bread can add a touch of luxury.
  • Wine: A crisp, light Portuguese vinho verde or a fuller-bodied Douro red wine would complement the hearty soup nicely.
Portuguese Kale Soup

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store leftover Portuguese Kale Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To freeze, let the soup cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Make Ahead: Portuguese Kale Soup is a great make-ahead dish. Prepare the soup as instructed, but do not add the kale. Let the soup cool completely, then store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the soup, add the kale, and simmer until the kale is tender.
Portuguese Kale Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

Leftover Portuguese Kale Soup is versatile and can be used in various ways:

  • Next-Day Meal: Leftovers can be reheated for a quick and hearty lunch or dinner the next day.
  • Bread Soup: Pour the reheated soup over stale bread chunks for a different texture and added heartiness. This is a great way to use up stale bread and reduce waste.
  • Soup Base: Use the leftover soup as a base for another soup. Add new vegetables, grains, or proteins to create a unique flavor profile.
  • Freeze: If you can’t consume the leftovers within a few days, freeze them for future use. Remember to store in freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.


  • Spice it up: Add Portuguese chouriço or linguica sausage for a traditional flavor boost.
  • Texture matters: Add cannellini beans for a creamy texture and added protein.
  • Get creative with greens: Use collard greens or spinach if kale is unavailable for a similar texture and taste.
  • Don’t overlook the broth: Use a rich chicken or vegetable broth as the base for maximum flavor.
  • Add a kick: Sprinkle red pepper flakes or paprika for a spicy twist.
  • The finishing touch: Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice before serving for a fresh, citrusy flavor.
Traditional Portuguese Kale Soup Recipe (Hearty, Warming Soup)

Traditional Portuguese Kale Soup Recipe (Hearty, Warming Soup)

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Course: Soup Recipes


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Portuguese Kale Soup, also known as Caldo Verde, is a hearty, warming dish steeped in tradition. It blends the earthy flavors of kale, potatoes, and white pea beans with chorizo’s robust, smoky taste, all simmered to perfection in a savory broth. This easy-to-make soup is a staple in Portuguese households. 


  • 1/2 Pound 1/2 Dried White Pea Beans

  • 1/2 Pound 1/2 Chorizo Sausage, Thinly Sliced

  • 1 Pound 1 Beef Soup Bones

  • 32 Fl.Ounce 32 Water

  • 1 1 Medium Head Cabbage, Chopped

  • 2 Bunches 2 Kale, Rinsed, Dried And Chopped

  • 5 5 Potatoes, Peeled And Cubed

  • 32 fl.ounce 32 Hot Water (Or As Needed)

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • Pepper (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Begin with soaking the white pea beans in twice their volume of water. This process should take about 8 hours, or leave overnight to ensure they soften and cook evenly.
  • Cooking
    Once the beans have been soaked and drained, place them in a large pot. Add thinly sliced chorizo and beef soup bones to the pot.
    Pour 1 quart of water into the pot, ensuring all ingredients are well covered.
  • Blending
    Place the pot on a stove set to medium heat. Allow the mixture to cook until the beans start to tenderize. This should take approximately 1 hour.
  • Final Touches
    After 1 hour, incorporate the chopped cabbage, kale, and cubed potatoes into the pot. Pour in enough hot water to completely cover the ingredients.
    Continue cooking the mixture until the potatoes become tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Serving
    Finalize your Portuguese Kale Soup with a seasoning of salt and pepper. Adjust these to taste.
  • Additional Options
    You could garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or a drizzle of olive oil for an added flourish. Always serve hot, ideally accompanied by a slice of broa, a traditional Portuguese cornbread. Enjoy this comforting bowl of tradition.
  • Ladle
  • Colander
  • Knife And Cutting Board
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons


  • Chorizo Selection: Portuguese chorizo, also known as chouriço, is traditionally used in this soup. If you can’t find it, substitute it with Spanish chorizo or another smoky, flavorful sausage.
  • Kale Preparation: Traditional Caldo Verde uses very thinly sliced kale. Taking the time to slice your kale thinly will produce a more authentic soup.
  • Bean Soaking: Complete the soaking process for the dried beans. This will ensure they cook evenly and become tender in the soup.
  • Adjust to Taste: Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your taste. You should add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your preference.
  • Serving Suggestion: For an authentic experience, serve your soup with a slice of Portuguese cornbread (broa).
  • Storing and Reheating: Portuguese Kale Soup holds well and can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. Always reheat thoroughly before serving.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

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