Looking for hearty, warming soup? A bowl of Portuguese Kale and Sausage soup might be just the thing. Thick with potatoes, spicy sausage, and nutrient-rich kale, this soup is easy, filling, and (best of all) a popular crowd-pleaser.
We first ran this recipe back in the winter of 2011 as part of Yankee Magazine‘s “Best Cook in New England” series. In that issue, the featured cook was 96-year-old Ruth O’Donnell from Provincetown, Massachusetts, and her Portuguese Kale Soup (affectionately knows “Portuguese Penicillin” for its ability to soothe seasonal colds) quickly became a staff and reader favorite.
The special ingredient in this soup is the kind of sausage it calls for — a spicy Portuguese variety known as linguiça. A form of smoke cured pork sausage, seasoned with garlic and paprika, linguica is especially common throughout southern New England (Massachusetts has the highest Portuguese population in the country, and is second only to Rhode Island when it comes to percentages of population), but can be substituted (if absolutely necessary) with hot sausage or kielbasa.
Garlic, onions, chicken broth, and potatoes round out the ingredients.
I followed Ruth’s instructions and added a can of Campbell’s “Bean with Bacon” soup to the pot instead of the traditional plain white or dark beans. She began using this shortcut in the early 1960s, and never looked back.
“It’s what gives the soup its flavor” Ruth said. Works for me.
My family gobbled up this flavorful and filling soup, and gave it the ultimate compliment by asking for the recipe — always a good sign.
Ruth passed away peacefully at her home in March, 2012, just a few weeks shy of her 98th birthday. We’re so glad, though, that she was able to her recipe for Portuguese Kale Soup with us, so that we (and you) may continue to enjoy it for years to come.
Are you a fan of Portuguese Penicillin, aka Portuguese Kale and Sausage Soup? If you’ve never tried a batch, we think this recipe is the perfect place to start!