Portuguese Kale Soup, Zinnia Café Style

Portuguese Kale Soup Recipe

This soup recipe has been in my family for quite some time. I got the recipe from my grandmother, who always made it on Sunday afternoons. I used to serve it at my restaurant, Zinnia Café, but explaining Portuguese kale soup was quite a challenge in Southern Oregon, where folks only seem to use the vegetable as a garnish on the salad bar.–Lisa Lawrence

Portuguese Kale Soup Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • Serves 12 to 14


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound beef oxtails, cut into several pieces
  • 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound linguiça, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 32 ounces homemade beef stock of commercial beef broth
  • 3 large white or yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • One 15-ounce can small white beans, don’t drain
  • One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, don’t drain
  • 1 bunch fresh curly or flat-leaf kale
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • 1. In a 8- or 10-quart soup pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and celery and saute, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
  • 2. Transfer the vegetables with a slotted spoon to a plate and raise the heat under the pot to medium high. Working in several batches, add the oxtail, stew meat, and linguiça and sear the meats on all sides until nicely browned. Add the vegetables back to the pot, pour in the beef broth, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to low and simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • 3. Meanwhile, wash the kale, discarding the thick stems, and finely chop the leaves. Set aside.
  • 4. Skim any accumulated fat from top of the simmering soup and transfer the oxtails to a plate to cool.
  • 5. Add the potatoes and the beans and their liquid to the pot and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. When the oxtails are cool, pull the meat from the bone, chopping if needed, and add it back to soup along with the kale and cook for 5 minutes.
  • 6. Drizzle in the honey, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, and serve in big, homey bowls.

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