Sunday, November 4, 2007

Portuguese Kale Soup

This was one of my favorite soups growing up summers on Cape Cod. The New England area, especially Connecticut has many people of Portuguese decent-- and what wonderful recipes they infuse into the New England diet. Like most soups, this one tastes better a few days after making it.

8 oz (220 grams) dried red kidney beans
1 pound linguiça or chorizo sausage, cut into small chunks
1 pound fresh kale, trimmed of stalks and cut into small pieces
1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced
1 celery root, tough outer bit sliced off, inside cut into 4 large pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded, trimmed and cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin tomato puree
5 beef bullion cubes
3 large potatoes cut into small cubes
½ teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon dried thyme

1) Soak the beans over night-- if you don’t have time for that, do this: Place the dried beans into a pot and cover by three inches with cold water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, then, keeping covered, remove from the heat and allow to steep in the hot water for an hour, until soft. If you’ve absolutely no time, just use 2 cans kidney beans at the end of cooking the soup-- but this is not preferable.

2) In a huge soup pot (at least 8 quarts), sauté the sausage until it releases most of the fat. Drain the sausage on paper towels and wipe out the pot.

3) Put all the ingredients back (including soaked and soft beans) into the pot and cover (to the top of the pot) with water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for several hours. Remove 4 pieces of celery root and discard. Taste to adjust seasoning for spice and salt.

Serves… a lot-- maybe 10 or more depending on portion size

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