Monday, January 2, 2012

Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup

Happy New Year!  We had a wonderful holiday here, lots of friends, family, food and fun!  I received a lot of really amazing food gifts for Christmas including fig balsamic vinegar, porcini olive oil, artisinal chocolates,a grown your own oyster mushroom kit, spice infused sea salt and beautiful handmade Portuguese chorizo and linguica sausage from Chave's market in Fall River, Massachusetts.

When we moved Emma to Fall River in the fall, I took some time to peak in Chave's, the local Portuguese market around the corner from Emma's apartment.  What an amazing store!  An incredible selection of fresh and frozen seafood, an entire aisle dedicated to Port, and a meat counter that made me weak in the knees.  All the aisle signs are in both English and Portuguese.  I begged Emma to bring me either some of their hand-made chourico or linguica, and for Christmas Emma surprised me with both!

So today I decided to make something with the chorizo.  Since Fall River is the hometown of chef Emeril Lagasse, I decided to make his Kale and Andouille soup.  In the prologue to this recipe, Emeril waxes poetically over the portuguese chorizo from Fall River and how this soup was his favorite childhood food.

Beautiful local organic kale and Chave's Portuguese chourico from Fall River, Massachusetts!

I have made a few minor modifications, but here it is, the ultimate January food.  Simple and earthy and rustic.  The chorizo makes a beautifully red-hued broth which looks incredible with the deep green kale and, and chunks of pale potato.  We sopped this delicious soup up with bug chunks of crusty sourdough bread for a satisfying winter meal.

My Portuguese friend Maria, who lives in Asheville, NC tells me that she orders excellent Portuguese chourico from Gaspar's, a Portuguese online market in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, just up the road from Fall River!  Thanks Maria!

OMG look at this AMAZING chorizo!

Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup
serves 8

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs portuguese chorizo, skin removed and cut in 1/2 inch slices (or andouille)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
2 large potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
12 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
3 large bunches kale, rinsed, stemmed and leaves hand-torn into pieces
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh-cracked black pepper
6 Tbsp chopped fresh mint.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over high heat.  Add chorizo and onions and saute for 5 minutes until onions are tender and chorizo sweats.  Add garlic, parsley and potatoes and toss with onion mixture.  Cook for 3 minutes, tossing occasionaly.

Add stock, bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Add kale and stir into hot broth to wilt kale.  Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pot and simmer until potatoes are tender. about 40 minutes.

Serve hot, garnished with minced mint in large soup bowls with chunks of crusty bread.

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