This meatless version of the traditional Portuguese soup Caldo Verde is both distinctive and substantial. Kale gives the soup a wonderful flavor and texture, and along with the kidney beans provides a good source of iron.

SERVES 6 AS A MAIN COURSE

ВЅ cup olive oil

3 large onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

10 cups Vegetable Stock

16-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice

16-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1ВЅ teaspoons paprika

в…› teaspoon cayenne pepper

1ВЅ teaspoons salt

Liberal seasoning freshly ground pepper

1 pound fresh kale (total weight with stems),* cleaned and stemmed

3 medium potatoes, unpeeled and diced

2 tablespoons butter

*Extra kale can be served another time in Sauted Greens with Garlic.

  1. In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, kidney beans, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. If there are any coarse ribs on the kale leaves, then rip the leaves off and discard the ribs. Roughly chop the kale. You should have 8 to 10 cups.
  4. Add the kale and potatoes to the soup and cook 30 minutes, or until the beans and potatoes are tender. If the soup is too thick add additional stock.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and discard. To give the soup a wonderful creamy consistency remove about 2 cups of it and pure it in the blender. Return it to the pot.
  6. Before serving add the butter and stir to melt.