Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chorizo & Kale Soup

A great, great hearty soup from the Iberian Peninsula! Takes literally minutes to make! About 30 minutes actually. My recipe is a bit more carb friendlier as compared to other kale soups in that I don't always use potatoes. That way you can double up on the crusty bread! But if you want to bulk up that soup a wee bit more chuck in three large Yukons or red skin potatoes (skins left on the red taters makes it more rustic looking!) cut into medium to small chunks. Add them into the pot at the same time you add the bell pepper, onion and carrots.

Chorizo and Kale Soup

10 oz. chorizo, diced into cubes  **(SEE NOTE)

1 lb. of kale (stems removed) and coarsely chopped 

1 large red bell pepper cut into strips and then coarsely chopped

1 large green bell pepper cut into strips and then coarsely chopped

3-4 large cloves of garlic minced or grated (I like using a micro plane)

1 large sweet onion. It could be a Mayan, Spanish or for a little color a red onion

2 medium size carrots diced into cubes

1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

Course salt and fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp. of cumin (adds a warm Mediterranean flavor)

Half a tbsp. of Herbs de Provence

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

32 fl. oz. of chicken stock

32 fl. oz. of water

2 14.5 oz. cans of cannellini beans drained and rinsed

Grated Manchego or parmesan cheese 

Parsley or cilantro

In deep pot or large stock pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chorizo and saute for 4-5 minutes to render some fat from the sausage. Remove sausage with slotted spoon and set aside on plate. You will see that oil in the pot has been infused with the fat from the chorizo giving the oil a reddish hue. 

Add the chopped onion, carrot and bell pepper to the oil, season with a hefty pinch of salt and 3-4 grinds of black pepper and saute over medium high heat for 5 minutes. 

Turn heat down to medium. Add the cumin, Herbs de Provence, bay leaves and garlic, stir until incorporated then return the chorizo back to the pot, give a good stir once or twice. Add chicken stock and water. Let soup come up to boil then lower the heat to simmer. Add kale a few handfuls at a time allowing the greens to cook down otherwise all the kale will not fit into the pot. Once all the kale is in, cover pot and let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the kale is wilted. Season with another dash of salt and pepper to taste if needed?

Discard bay leaves, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle grated manchego or parmesan cheese over top and garnish with parsley or cilantro. Serve with crusty bread like a French baguette or Portuguese rolls or saloio bread.

**NOTE: You can also use chouriço. The Portuguese version of the Spanish chorizo. Only difference between the two, all the same spices are used but red wine is added to the chouriço. Linguiça sausage is another good option.

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