En español | Deep winter is the best time to cook up a pot of soup. You could start with a ham hock, chicken carcass or beef bones to create long-simmering soups that are all worth making. But I offer you one that's ready in less than 30 minutes, and rivals chicken noodle as a comfort food. There's another plus: It's chock-full of the nutrient-rich superfood kale.
Portuguese Soup may sound exotic, but check out the unusually short ingredient list. And, except for the kale and maybe the sausage, they're all ingredients you probably have in your pantry right now. You can buy big bunches of kale and do all the prep yourself, but I now use it so regularly, I've started buying it in two-pound bags with the rinsing, stemming and tearing mostly done. (It needs a little further preparation, but it beats starting from scratch.)
A pot of Portuguese Kale Soup typically calls for a pound of sausage, but I've discovered that half that amount, or eight ounces, is plenty. The key is to break up the sausage as it cooks so it gets evenly distributed. Spicy fresh chorizo is traditional and delicious in this recipe, but if you can't find it, don't let that dissuade you from making the soup. I've prepared it with a variety of sausages, including garlicky Italian chicken sausage, and it's always plenty tasty.
Because I prefer the kale to retain its bright-green color and more of its nutrients, I've suggested stirring in the greens toward the end of cooking. If you like your kale more tender, add it to the pot as soon as the broth comes to a simmer.
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Portuguese Kale Soup
Serves a generous 4
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh chorizo or Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, drained
- 1 pound kale, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- Salt and ground black pepper
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or soup kettle. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks, until it loses its raw color, a couple of minutes. Add onion and continue to cook until onion softens, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, a minute longer. Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, potatoes and chickpeas; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in kale and cook until wilted but still bright-green, a few minutes longer. Adjust seasoning, including salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.