It may be the end of November, but the kale in my garden is still growing! As the nights get longer and colder here in Southern New England, the first thing I go for is a great bowl of soup.
When I first posted my recipe of Portuguese kale soup, I was told by many Portuguese friends that my soup wasn’t authentic so I couldn’t call it that. Fair enough. Well, my Portuguese pal, Paula, has a great 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. But damn, it’s good! My version follows.
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 a food processor. Put the puree in a large pot with about a gallon of water. Chop the chourico, and add it to the puree along with the ribs. Boil for 20 minutes. Chop the fennel bulb and cabbage into 2 inch squares. Add the fennel and cabbage to soup and boil for 30 minutes. Add the chopped kale, and boil for 30 minutes. Add the 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 and gluten-free, 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 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 or bacon fat, 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. The stems go in your compost pile. (You can also use them in a juicer.)
Cook the soup until the lentils are al dente. Taste and season for salt and pepper before serving.