Portuguese Sausage and Kale Soup

Finally back in the kitchen after nearly a week.  Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, luckily without much incident in Central Virginia, and the cold temperatures have come to stay.  Add that to the fact that I have two freezers still ridiculously full.  Sounds like soup time.  I pulled two bags of chicken legs and a pound of sausage out of the freezer.  There’s some room in there!  Of course I’ll probably be freezing some of this soup.  Well, at least I have room for it now.

I went the long way around on the soup, as per usual.  When you make a brothy soup I really recommend homemade stock.  So, first I made 2 quarts of chicken stock today – one for this and one for some future use.  I used a slightly wilted bunch of lacinato kale from the farmers’ market.  The recipe calls for a pound of kale.  That seems like a lot of kale and not normally the way kale is measured.  Still, I decided that one bunch wasn’t enough and headed out to get more.  Sadly Kroger only had curly kale today.  I don’t care for curly kale.  It’s hard to chop and other than oysters in stew I don’t think food should be ruffly.  Still, I got the curly kale and managed.  Anyway, I used a quart of my home canned tomatoes.  No small thing since I didn’t get to do any canning this year.  Tomatoes are going to be a precious commodity this year.  The freezers contained no chourico so I substituted Sausagecraft‘s San Miniato sausage and a little crushed jalapeno/serrano pepper.  Add some onion, potatoes and chickpeas and there you have it.

The flavor of this soup is really good.  The broth, tomatoes and sausage make a great salty and acidic base for the green and earthy kale.  The onions and garlic perform their usual aromatic magic.  I assume that the chickpeas and potatoes are added to give the soup a little heft, make it more of a main dish soup.  Next time I’d leave them both out.  In fairness I’m not a big fan of the chickpea in it’s non-hummus form.  I think their texture is weird and that really stands out here.  The potatoes just don’t add anything except carbs and calories.  Serving the soup with crusty bread takes care of both of those and it tastes awesome.  Dump the potatoes, stick with the bread.  I dressed my ciabatta with a little olive oil.  Yum.

One other thing about this recipe.  It says it makes four servings.  Now, I followed the amounts in the recipe pretty closely.  I’m not sure on what planet this is only four servings.  If you really want four servings I recommend making a half recipe.  I’ll have four servings to eat and four more to fill up that space in the freezer.

Good? Good.  Even a bit better than good.  Hearty and good for a cold night.
Easy? It absolutely could be. Buy a good quality stock.
Good for company? It certainly makes enough to share, but it’s not dinner party food certainly.
Special shopping? Nope.

Portuguese Sausage and Kale Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium white waxy potatoes, like yukon golds, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 pound kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and pepper
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzos (chick peas), drained and rinsed
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 pound sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 quart chicken broth
1/4 t crushed red pepper
Warm, crusty bread

Directions

Heat oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Add potatoes and onions, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add garlic, bay leaves, and kale to the pot. Cover pot and wilt greens 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomatoes, chourico, and broth to the pot and bring soup to a full boil. Reduce heat back to medium and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

Serve soup with hunks of crusty bread.

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