Jessica Grosman

Portuguese-Style Potato-Kale Soup

Jessica Grosman
Portuguese-Style Potato-Kale Soup

I hope you have enjoyed this first full week of spring!

As last week's snow melted, followed by grey skies and rain, I couldn't help but smile as I saw the first of this season's daffodils poke up from the ground.  A true sign of springtime, right?

Another sign of the season is the arrival of the holidays of Passover and Easter.  If you're like me, you've spent a bit of time this week preparing for whichever holiday you observe.  For me, that meant lots of grocery shopping and planning for my family's Passover Seder tonight.  I've included some new recipes to my family's holiday meals, including this soup which I'm sharing with you today.

Last week, I wrote about our recent trip to Portugal.  I've been reflecting back about the trip, the sights we saw and most especially about the food we ate.  Caldo Verde, Portuguese Kale Soup, was on nearly every menu that I read during our vacation.  It's considered the national dish of Portugal, and is eaten by young and old, wealthy and common-folk.  The base of the soup is onions, garlic, and potatoes; some versions are much more fragrant than others, made with a larger amount of garlic.  Some recipes include sausage, others are meat-free.  Some have large leaves of kale in the broth, others have finely minced greens.  I knew, from the first bowl of Caldo Verde that I ate, that I would need to return home and create my own unique version.  

My Portuguese-Style Potato-Kale Soup is very basic and simple.  Onions are sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil, a modest amount of garlic is added, and together the aromatics are puréed with tender Yukon gold potatoes.  This variety of potatoes is full of waxy smooth starch, which is important for the overall taste and texture of the soup!  But rather than simmering the kale into the soup, I wanted to add an element of crunch to the recipe.  I've sautéed the kale leaves until crispy and put them on top of the soup, making a delicious contrast between the smooth liquid and the crunchy leaves.  

My family will (hopefully) enjoy my Portuguese-Style Potato-Kale Soup for lunch on Saturday, and I'm sure that I'll make myself another pot before the weekend is over - to enjoy for the early part of next week.  Perhaps you'll do some easy arm-chair traveling this weekend by making a pot of my Portuguese-Style soup, too?  Be sure to let me know if you do make the soup, I always enjoy the feedback about my recipes.  

Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.


Portuguese-Style Potato-Kale Soup

print recipe here

Ingredients:  (note - use organic whenever possible)

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped 

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped

4 cups water

1 t sea salt, plus additional, to taste 

freshly ground black pepper

 To serve:

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

4 C chopped kale


Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the oil.  Sauté the onions, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly brown, approximately 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, being careful to keep the garlic from burning.

Add the potatoes, water, and 1 t of sea salt to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Check the potatoes for doneness, they should be tender.  Remove from the heat and purée with an immersion blender until smooth.  

Prior to serving, heat 2 T of oil in a large sauté pan.  Once hot, add the chopped kale and sauté until the kale is wilted and crisp on the edges, approximately 6-8 minutes.  Toss the kale frequently to keep it from burning.  

Gently reheat the soup, if needed, and taste for seasoning.  Add additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.  Ladle the soup into deep soup bowls and top with the sautéed kale.  Serve immediately.


recipe yields 4-5 generous servings

double the recipe for more servings

soup can be made several days in advance of serving, keep chilled in a covered container and reheat gently prior to serving.  Sauté the kale just prior to serving.