January 7, 2009

Portuguese Kale Soup

I can't find Portuguese Linguica in Havre, Montana. So, last Fall my beautiful daughter sent me some for my birthday. Linguica is a spicy pork sausage that's oh-so-good-so-many-ways. We'll use some in this recipe for Portuguese Kale Soup.
This is the Kale Soup pan. I don't know if my Mom ever used it for anything else! It's an old pan and has held many, many gallons of this delicious soup.
The recipe calls for pinto beans but I used navy beans. Don't ask my why. I don't know. The recipe also calls for pigs feet, which I didn't have, but many of you may not like pigs feet in the soup anyway. I think it's something you have to start eating when you're a kid, then you don't think it's so weird to have the little piggy feet in your soup!

Put the beans (soaked overnight), pigs feet (or not), 4 links of linguica, 1 sliced onion, 5 potatoes (peeled and cut into big chunks) and 3 cloves pressed garlic into the pan. Cover everything with plain old water and simmer until the beans are done (about 4 hours).
When the beans are done, take out the pigs feet and linguica. Mash the beans and potatoes right in the pan... don't be too zealous about this... you don't want to make mush of everything... just a little mashing will do. Slice up a head of cabbage and add it to the pan.
Cut the ribs from the stalks of kale and tear into manageable pieces.
Add the cabbage and kale to the pan. Give it a stir and let it simmer all day. Yes, all day.
Ladle into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread. I don't know how traditional (or even rational!) this is, but when we were kids we put a great big squirt of ketchup into the soup and to this day I can't eat it any other way!

This makes a boat load of soup! I let mine cool overnight then ladle into bags and freeze for another wintry day. I wrote this recipe down exactly as my Mom told it to me about 20 years ago and as I read it I can still hear her telling me how to make it. You can find the recipe here.


  1. I love the fact that you have your mom's pan. My son already wants my Le Creuset "tortilla soup" pot just because it's what we always use to make his favorite soup in.

    I'll have to check some of the Chicago margets for Linguica. I love kale and sausage in bean based soups. I'll have to say no to the pigs feet though! :)

  2. And where in CA did you go? Did you live there? We used to...in the central Vally. A Huge Portuguese population. We ate lots of linguicia. I'll like this soup, I'm sure.

  3. That looks great, I love linguica. The first time I had it was skewered and browned over a fire. That was wicked good. :)

  4. That looks delicious, just the kind of food I want at the moment, it's freezing here!

    Is Linguica similar to chorizo? I've never heard of it before.

  5. Sounds like a great soup. I don't think I could do the pigs feet thing though. :) That is great about using your moms pan. :)

  6. I can't find linguica around here either, it's different to chourico though.

    Sounds like a great recipe, but you know my kale soup is completely different :)

    Have a great day,

  7. Yum, this looks healthy and delicious.

  8. Sam, linguica is nothing like mexican chorizo I think that's what you meant.

    Debbie, we went to Rio Vista (south of Sac).

    Sandra, I actually thought of you while I was making this and knew that yours would be different. I doubt there are two the same, do you? Ha.

  9. That soup sounds good. I like the use of the kale in it.


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