Soup journey’s are regular events at my house. I try to cook a big pot of soup most weekends. Whatever is left on Friday goes in the freezer in single serve containers, often pint canning jars. Over time, I get a nice collection of lunch options that are from scratch and yummy! If I really blow it on calories during the day I can always lean on my soup saviour to keep my me on my weight loss journey. Also, I just LOVE soup. Well, that is except for split pea. When I was young I lived next door to my Mother’s parents. My Mom’s the third oldest of ten kids. Many of my aunts and uncles still lived at home. One day, I was about 5 years old, my Uncle Bub was making the most fantastic smelling soup. Remember, 5-years old, I wasn’t tall enough to see in the pot. But, all day long I could smell it. I kept asking, when will it be done? I was sure it would be the most fantastic thing in the world. I distinctly remember that I was sitting in the seat directly opposite the front window when he sat that bowl down in front of me. Horror! It looked like green baby poop. This would not touch my lips, no matter how amazing it smelled. As I pushed the bowl away I declared that I couldn’t possibly eat this soup, I could see the dust on top (pepper) and I was in fact allergic to dust. I walked away and didn’t again try a creamy legume soup until I joined a CSA a few years ago.
On this particular day, as most soup journey’s start in my house I was looking for a soup that would use ingredients that I had on hand and felt a need to get through. In this case, potatoes and collards were the ingredients of the day. On the way to church I Googled the ingredients on my iPhone. Up popped a recipe from Cooks.com for New Bedford Portugeuse Kale Soup. http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1848,128185-241194,00.html Looked promising, I was in.
But what the heck is chourico or linguica? A quick search turned up Portuguese sausage. Hmmm…where could I get that before dinner? No matter, I knew I had some bulk Italian sausage made by Nathan at Cresswick Farm in the freezer. It would have to do. If I’ve ever cooked for you it’s likely there are a few things you’ve figured out, 1) I can’t follow directions, recipes are no exception, and 2) I like to try new recipes on guests. Don’t worry, to my knowledge, no guest has ever been harmed while testing new recipes. When I got home from church I Googled a few more recipes for Portuguese Kale soup. I came to the conclusion that Portuguese Kale soup in synonymous with chicken soup in the US — everyone has their own variation. In the words of my husband, this is a winning soup. Hope you like the Polish-Russian-Irish-French Canadian version of this Portuguese classic.
Portugeuse Kale Greens Soup
1 bunch fresh Collards (or any cooking green)
1 large yellow onion
3-4 potatoes sliced very thin – use variety that you can leave skins on
1 lb. Italian sausage
8 cups chicken broth
1-2 TBS bacon fat
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 can cannelloni (white kidney) beans
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 hot peppers, seeded
fresh tomatoes (equivalent to a 15 oz can)
1/3 teaspoon paprika
Season with salt, & pepper to taste
Saute sausage, onion and garlic in skillet. If using ‘lean’ sausage the mixture may dry before the onions are translucent. If that happens, or if you just like a little extra flavor, add the bacon fat. (The original recipe called for a 1/4 cup olive oil to the saute mixture.)
In soup pot add broth, tomatoes, cannellini beans, bay leaf, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add sausage mixture, potatoes and collards, simmer on low for about 1/2 hour or until potatoes are tender.
Serve with crusty homemade bread, like the kind my blogging friend Trisha’s husband makes.
Notes for next time: Add a few more hot peppers. The peppers gave a nice flavor, but the soup wasn’t spicy. I would have been OK with a little spice. Leave out the garlic powder, it just seems unnecessary.
Preservation Tip: When tomatoes are fresh, local, and cheep freeze them. Just wash and core the tomatoes and pop them in a freezer bag. When you take them out run under warm water and slightly pinch the skins which will glide right off.
Kitchen Tool Note: A mandolin works great to make thin cut potatoes for soup. I love kitchen gadgets, but they have to be useful. I use the mandolin pretty much just for thin cut potatoes in soup. The results are worth the storage space.
I’ll post a picture when I have a chance.