It has been COLD here in San Diego!  Now before all you people who live in real weather start to laugh, I did live on the east coast for a good number of years so I have paid my snow-shoveling dues.  When you live in a gorgeous place like San Diego, you expect low 70’s to prevail all year – and for the most part they do – but geeze – this high of 55/low of 32 business is killing me.  Especially since I don’t even own a real winter coat.

Soup is perfect for this chilly weather and one of my favorite winter soups is Portuguese Kale Soup (Caldo Verde).  I grew up in a home where Portuguese fare was the norm and kale soup was one of my favorites.  Dad always made it in the winter with kale that he grew in our backyard garden.  I cooked this over the weekend and as the hearty aroma of onions and linguiça filled my house, memories of my childhood flooded my heart.  (Cheesy, but true.)  I love that about food.

Portuguese Kale Soup
I use all organic ingredients except linguiça, which I have yet to find organically made- darn it.  Also, I’ve cleaned this recipe up a bit to make it a little more guiltless.

5 medium potatoes, cubed
32 oz. chicken stock
2-4 cups water
1-2 large yellow or white onions
4 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds kale leaves – a sizeable bunch, chopped
2 Portuguese Linguiça sausages – boiled
Red pepper flakes, to taste
6-10 whole Allspice balls
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Tomato sauce (optional)

1. Cut linguiça  sausages into large 2″ chunks to boil (boiling meat removes more fat); boil for 15 minutes, remove and let cool, skim fat from water and save.
2. In a large heavy soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, allspice, and a little tomato sauce until onions are soft, about 5-8 minutues. Add reserved linguiça broth in addition to chicken stock and let it come to a boil.
3. While soup is coming to a boil chop linguiça, wash and chop kale, cube potatoes.  Add the potatoes to the soup once its boiling and let cook for about 15 minutes, until soft.  Lower heat to simmer, add linguiça and kale and serve once kale is soft.

Serves 8-10

Enjoy! : )