You’ve likely noticed that we’re big fans of salads around here. But what you may not have noticed is that we’re equally big fans of soup.
When the weather gets cold, we go full-on soup mode. As in we start making vats and vats of our favorite soup. Namely, Chicken Miso Soup, Tortilla Soup, Rustic Tuscan Soup and this, which is the best Roasted Tomato Sausage Kale Soup Recipe around if you ask us.
If you’re a soup connoisseur, one look at this recipe may make you think this is the classic Portuguese kale soup known as caldo verde aka “green soup.” This is and isn’t that recipe.
As in this is just a soup that we started making and it morphed over the years into something that’s not quite an Italian wedding soup, almost a minestrone, and akin to caldo verde.
What Is Caldo Verde Portuguese Sausage Kale Soup?
Since we’re on the subject, let’s call a spade a spade and clarify what is caldo verde. It’s a soup that hails from northern Portugal and is commonly made with sausage, greens, and potatoes or beans. It’s also rumored to be an effective hangover cure though we can’t personally attest to that.
But this isn’t exactly the traditional Portuguese soup recipe. If you go to spots that are known for caldo verde like San Francisco’s Grubstake restaurant, you’ll find that caldo verde is traditionally made with a cabbage that’s hard to find stateside; the soup base is often blended; and it’s usually served with the Portuguese sausage known as linguica.
How To Make This Soup
This soup recipe is super easy to make and the whole thing can be put together in less than an hour (a rarity for a soup mind you). If you wanted to make a lot at once you could easily double the recipe.
Start by browning the coins of sausage (use a spicy sausage for more heat or a sweet sausage for something more mellow) and then by slowly simmering the onions, celery, and carrot.
Once you have it all together, go ahead and let it cook as short of as long as you’d like. As is standard with soups, the flavor will develop more the longer it simmers; however, you can serve this as soon as everything is cooked through.
Variations On This Kale Soup
- Switch the greens: Use any number of dark greens in this soup like, say, collard greens, Swiss chard, or dark green cabbage.
- Swap beans for potatoes: If potatoes aren’t your thing (or you just don’t have any on hand), just use another ingredient instead! Try it with sweet potatoes for a little sweetness (a great contrast if you use spicy sausage) or add kidney beans, cannellini beans, or Great Northern white beans instead.
- Make It Spicy: You could use chorizo, a hot Italian sausage, or even add a pinch of red pepper flakes before you serve it to give the soup some heat.
- Blend Part Of It: Borrow a page from the traditional Portuguese recipe and blend the base (as in the soup without the kale, sausage, or potatoes) for a creamier texture.
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Roasted Tomato Sausage Kale Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
- 20 ounces fresh (uncooked) Italian-style turkey or pork sausage sliced into 1/2-inch thick coins
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 celery stalks finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 3 medium carrots finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for garnish
- 1 cup dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 12 ounces small red or buttercream potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
- Piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind plus cheese for garnish (optional)
- 4 ounces kale stemmed and thinly sliced
- Cook The Sausage: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, brown the coins of sausage by cooking it cut side down, turning occasionally, until golden all over, about 8 minutes. Remove the browned sausage to a plate and set aside. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the oil.
- Make The Soup Base: Return the pan to medium-low heat, add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrots, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until the celery just starts to soften, another 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook until the alcohol smell is gone, about 2 minutes.
- Simmer The Soup: Add the broth, diced tomatoes and their liquid, the water, potatoes, and cheese rind (if using) and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the soup boils, reduce the heat to low. Partially cover the pot then simmer the soup until the potatoes are knife tender, about 15 minutes. (You could also put the soup in a slow cooker at this point and let it cook over low for up to 8 hours.)
- Serve The Soup: Stir the reserved sausage and the kale to the pot. Cook until the sausage is heated through and the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning, grate cheese over the top, as desired. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a crank of black pepper, and serve with crusty bread.