My pal, Paula, has a great Portuguese soup recipe that has been passed down from her Mom. Her Mom even adds chicken feet to the stock, which Paula chooses to leave out. Like most Portuguese soup recipes I’ve seen, there’s a ton of carbs: often potatoes with pasta with a lot of beans. As someone that tries to cut their carb intake, I make my soup with a lot less of that stuff.
Here’s Paula’s recipe…
Paula’s Portuguese Soup
3 cans garbanzo beans
2 cans white cannellini beans
1 can pink beans
1 fennel bulb
Large bunch of kale
2 sticks hot chourico
1 cup dry macaroni (elbows)
Red crushed pepper wet-optional
Drain and puree 3 cans of garbanzo beans in food processor . Put puree in large pot with about a gallon of water. Chop chourico , and add it to the puree along with the ribs. Boil for 20 minutes. Chop fennel bulb in food processor , chop cabbage ( 2 inch squares). Add fennel and cabbage to soup and boil for 30 minutes. Add chopped kale , boil for 30 minutes. Add cubed potatoes and before the potatoes are done, add the remaining drained cans of beans. Add macaroni and cook for a short time at the end.
Here’s my version: carb-friendly, but still packs a lot of flavor.
4 cups home-made chicken or beef stock
4 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed in cold water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, through a press
1 lb chourico, peeled and chopped into small cubes (I use the mild stuff: Mello’s, out of Fall River, Mass.)
1 large bunch organic kale
salt and pepper
Add the stock and water to a large pot. Heat until boiling. Add the lentils.
In a saucepan with a little olive oil, saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chopped chourico and saute a few minutes more. Add the contents of the saute pan in the pot.
Wash and de-stem the kale, tearing the leaves into smaller pieces. Add the leaves to the pot and stir. Discard the stems.
Cook the soup until the lentils are al dente. Taste and season for salt and pepper before serving.