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This is my version of the famous Portuguese kale soup with linguica, caldo verde — arguably the national dish of Portugal.
Smoked linguica sausage. Tender, creamy white beans. Portuguese kale, sliced so thin it’s like a spider web in your bowl. This is what you do with your homemade linguica, especially if you happen to have wild boar linguica, as I did.
There are a lot of versions of the famous Portuguese kale soup with linguica, and this one is inspired by a recipe from the Azores I found in my friend David Leite’s cookbook The New Portuguese Table. It’s a peasant stew, really. Heavy on beans (or potatoes, in most versions) and heavy on the kale, most versions skimp on the linguica and don’t use stock or broth — water is all.
I like that. I like the clarity of flavor you get with water, and with a stew that doesn’t have 50 ingredients in it. Sometimes, simple is better.
Most of you don’t have access to Portuguese kale, which is not like other kale. You can buy seeds for it online and grow it yourself, or use it’s closest, easily available cousin, collard greens. Chard, lacinato kale and turnip greens would also work.
Ideally the green you use isn’t too crinkly, because you want to julienne the leaves into very thin strands, and this is more difficult with bumpy, crinkly greens like regular kale.
Most recipes for Portuguese kale soup with linguica use potatoes instead of white beans, so feel free to use 1 to 2 pounds of white or yellow potatoes instead. As for the sausage, obviously you want Portuguese linguica. But andouille, Texas hot links, spicy Italian sausage or something else similar will all work.
Caldo verde comes together pretty fast, all things considered. If you use canned white beans, you can make it in 45 minutes — and this is easy enough to make on a weeknight.
Portuguese Linguica Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound linguica sausage, cut into large pieces
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 pound collard greens, stems removed and sliced very thin
- 1 15- ounce can cannellini beans or other white beans
- Ground black pepper
- Rinse the beans out thoroughly and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the white wine and cook this down by half.
- Add the collard greens, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and water. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste. Cover, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and add the sausage and beans. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with ground black pepper.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.