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Recipe: Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup

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Garden kale around Cortes Island has been growing strong throughout the winter, as this hearty vegetable can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees! In fact, you may notice that kale increases its sweetness after frost. It also doesn’t have the same problems with insects like cabbage can have, making it a top choice for newbie gardeners.
The other feature vegetable in this soup – the potato – comes in a remarkable variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. Potatoes were originally brought to North America originally from the Andes Mountains. (For more inspiration from the Andes check out our new program Heart of the Condor: Andean Wisdom Teachings this May 20 – 24!)
This delicious Portuguese Potato and Kale soup is the perfect grounding meal for this time of year, as we brave the last bursts of winter and start to welcome new spring flowers. This recipe was originally featured in Hollyhock Cooks by local Cortes Islander, Hanyu Wasyliw.

Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup


  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8-10 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 5 cups peeled and diced potatoes (any variety you like!)
  • 2 cups finely shredded kale leaves or packed collard greens
  • black pepper to taste


  1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil until soft, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the salt, water or stock, and diced potatoes. Bring the soup to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes fall apart. This will take about 1 hour. Mash any remaining large chunks of potato with a potato masher or a large spoon until you have a coarse purée.
  4. Add the shredded kale and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until the kale is tender but still bright green. Season with pepper to taste.

Photo credit: Year Round Vegetable Gardener

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