Sunday, November 13, 2011

Portuguese Kale Soup

Portuguese kale soup is probably my second most requested recipe (I won't yet tell you what the first recipe is, not yet). Growing up, one of my favorite soups was Portuguese kale soup, featuring a spicy Portuguese sausage called chourico. Chourico is similar to it's Spanish cousin, chorizo, but features more garlic and and paprika. When I became vegetarian, I gave up my kale soup. When I moved to Illinois, Portuguese foods became a mere memory, and I really began to crave kale soup. Using soyrizo, I was able to mimic the flavor of the original chourico by adding additional heat, paprika and garlic. Since I'm writing this while back in Portuguese territory, it seems fitting that I post this now, no?

                                                       See the steam? Aren't you hungry?

This recipe has 2 dirty little secrets: Goya Sazon with Azafran, and Goya Sazon con Cilantro y Tomate. Why dirty little secrets? These seasonings are loaded with sodium and have MSG in them. My philosophy is that since I rarely use it, and because the amount is small in this big pot of soup, it's ok for this special occasion.

Listened to: Hot Club of Cowtown. If they play in your town, go see them. You won't regret it.

Portuguese Kale Soup (makes about 6 quarts)
  • olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5-6 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 4-5 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 packages soyrizo
  • 4 quarts veggie broth or faux chicken broth 
  • 2 packages Goya con azafran
  • 2 packages Goya con cilantro y tomate
  • 1 Tbsp (or more, or less), smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp (or more, or less) crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp (or more, or less) garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch kale, carefully washed, and torn into small pieces
  • 2 16-oz cans white beans
  • 4 C macaroni or other small pasta, cooked

1. In a large stockpot (I ultimately had to use 2), heat a few Tbsp of olive oil on medium or medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, add the garlic and cook about 5 more mins.
2. When the onions are slightly softened, add the carrots and celery and sauté for about 5 more minutes. Add the soyrizo and stir frequently, taking care not to let the soyrizo stick, cook for about 5 more mins.
3. Pour in the broth, add the 2 kinds of Goya seasoning, paprika, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, adjust seasonings, cover and reduce heat to low.
4. Simmer for 1 hour on low heat, stirring occasionally and adjust seasonings as needed.
5. Add the kale, cook until wilted about 10 mins. Add the beans and pasta and cook 5-10 mins more. Adjust seasonings, and serve immediately.

Kitchen Notes: I use Frieda's brand soyrizo, which I find is the most flavorful brand I've tried with the most appealing texture. Goya products are found frequently in the international section of a well stocked grocery store, or an international or Latin grocery. I truly don't have a stockpot large enough to make all this soup, so I make it in 1 pot, and once the sautéing is done, I split the sautéed veggies and soyrizo between 2 pots. This soup freezes super well, but freeze without the pasta.

     A prize goes to whomever recognizes which ingredient is missing from the photo! What that prize is, I don't know.

Verdict? This is one of my most favorite soups. It's hearty, it's nutritious, and for me, full of nostalgia, be sure to give it a try. If this doesn't make you warm and happy on a cold day, I don't know what will.

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