Friday, February 18, 2011

Chorizo, Kale and Chickpea Soup

My recipe for kale soup began as an adaptation of one served at Bayside Betsy’s restaurant in Provincetown, MA. The first settlers to this haven at the tip of Cape Cod were Portuguese whale men hired to work the boats in the early 1900s. Kale soup is a traditional Portuguese staple typically made from potatoes, kidney beans, carrots, both linguiça and chouriço sausages and, of course, kale.

Through the years my recipes evolve according to what I have on hand, what is easily available locally and/or what needs using up sooner rather than later. Kale is in season so it’s a perfect time to bring this soup recipe out for this year’s evolution.

I am trading out the traditional kidney beans and potatoes for chickpeas, simply. Earlier this year I cooked a large batch of dried chick peas then froze them in two cup portions to use as needed. I highly recommend this method to anyone wanting to save a few pennies and reduce environmental waste but a can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained, will work fine otherwise.

Hot Spanish chorizo is easily found in Canadian grocery stores so I have used this sausage rather than searching out the Portuguese versions. I typically have Spanish chorizo stocked for my home cooked “fast food” dinners - see my Chorizo and Potato Hash or my Chorizo and Butternut Squash Salad. The soup doesn’t require a lot of seasoning because the chorizo will impart a delicious smokiness as well as vinegar and pepper flavors.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8.8 ounces/250 grams hot Spanish chorizo, sliced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
2 cups cooked chick peas/garbanzo beans
26.46 ounces/750 grams boxed chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Juice from ½ of a lemon
4 cups of cold water
2 bay leaves

Over medium, heat the oil in a large pot. Add the chorizo and cook for 5 minutes allowing it to char slightly. Add the onion, garlic and carrots; cook for 5 minutes. Add more oil if needed. While the onions are cooking, begin adding the kale to the pot. As it is cooking down, add the beans and tomatoes.

Add the seasoning, lemon and water. Stir to combine before adding the bay leaves. Cover with a lid and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Serves 6

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