Family Recipes // Kale & Barley Soup


Now if I’m being honest, this soup is known in my family as “Grandma’s Green Soup.” But I didn’t think that would get very many people excited. So Kale & Barley soup it is. I feel like my Grandma always had a pot of soup on the stove. And this was one she was particularly always trying to get us to eat, I think because she knew greens were good for us. She never had to convince me, though — I loved this stuff and I still do. My Grandma is gone now, but I called my Dad up and he keeps this recipe right in is noggin. So he gave me the Dad version, and I’ve made it a little more specific for you here.

Grandma’s Green Soup


2 bunches kale
2 large potatoes
1 large onion
26 oz beef stock
3/4 c dry barley
1 lb linguica (or any meat you prefer)
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste


First, prep the ingredients that need cutting. Peel and cut potatoes into 1″ cubes. Coarsely chop onion. Tear kale into bite-sized shreds. Cut linguica into 1/4″ medallions. Finely chop garlic.

Toss all ingredients into a large pot. Add enough water to just cover the mixture. Put on high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce temperature to simmer for just about 2 hours. At 2 hours, test the potatoes and kale to see if you like the consistency. If they’re still a little hard, leave on a bit longer.

Take off the heat and serve! I really like mine with a bit of extra salt sprinkled on top and sometimes even a squeeze of lemon. I didn’t realize it until I made it, but this recipe is crazy easy! I think of cooking as something that tends to be a total pain, but my Grandma was onto something with this one — just toss it in and turn up the heat. And it’s especially delicious now that the weather is a little more crisp. Who doesn’t love a good soup in the fall? xoxo




  1. Brittni on said:

    I love recipes you’ve been sharing lately. I think even I would be able to make this one…I really have to learn to cook!

  2. Christie on said:

    Kale and linguica… mmm Portuguese! Gotta visit my aunt now for some soup!

  3. sara on said:

    I love soup.thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh i definitely need to try this. looks so warm and yummy

  5. The best recipes are always the ones passed down to you from your family. Thanks for sharing– I will definitely have to try this.

    • chelsea on said:

      Agreed. There’s something special about knowing you’re making the same thing as a family member in a past generation. It’s a nice connection.

  6. Olive on said:

    I make this same soup. We like it in the winter time. What is left over then I put it in the freezer and reboil it to eat at a later date. I have also made it with watercress with the same ingredients. I almost like the watercress soup also with fresh french bread. Enjoy & stay warm.