• Yield: Serves 8 to 10

  • Time: 45 minutes prep, 60 minutes cooking, 105 minutes total

If the mainland's caldo verde is an uptown kale soup, then this Azorean version is definitely its downtown cousin. It's a more rugged dish. This is my mom's recipe, which she's been making for almost 50 years. What I like about it, and what my mother always insists on, is that it has a sizable amount of chouriço -- not the miserly single slice of caldo verde.

The New Portuguese Table The New Portuguese Table by David Leite


  • 1 1/4 cups dried red kidney beans, picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight in enough water to cover by 3 inches

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed

  • 12 ounces chouriço, linguiça, or dried-cured smoked Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch coins

  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped

  • 1 Turkish bay leaf

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 4 cups homemade beef stock or low-sodium store-bought broth

  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1/2 pound collard greens or kale, thick middle stem and fibrous veins removed, roughly chopped

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Drain the beans, dump them into a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender but hold their shape, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Dump in the chouriço and cook until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. Fish out the slices with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of fat from the pot. If, on the other hand, the pot is dry, drizzle in more oil. Add the onions and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until deeply golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent the onions from burning. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more.

3. Pour in the beef stock and 5 cups of water, add the potatoes, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. (If the beans haven't finished cooking, remove the soup from the heat. Continue when the beans are tender.)

4. While the soup is simmering, spoon a third of the beans and a bit of the soup liquid into a food processor and pulse to make a loose paste, then pass the paste through a sieve. This gives the dish extra body without errant bean skins floating in your soup. It’s entirely optional but, I think, preferable. When the potatoes are cooked, stir in the collards, cooked chouriço, bean paste, and the beans. Turn off the heat and let the soup sit for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste, and ladle into warm bowls.

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Reprinted with permission from The New Portuguese Table by David Leite. Copyright 2009, Clarkson Potter. Photography by Nuno Correia

David Leite
David Leite is the publisher of the website Leite's Culinaria, which has won two James Beard awards. He is the author Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression, as well as The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe's Western Coast, which won the 2010 IACP First Book/Julia Child Award. Leite also won a 2008 James Beard award for Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes, a 2006 Bert Green Award for Food Journalism, and Association of Food Journalists awards in 2006 and 2007.