Monday, October 18, 2010

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

Over the weekend, I made the best soup I've ever made, hands down. It was a healthy, robust kale soup filled with creamy potatoes, an extra-large bunch of fresh kale from the farmers' market, and linguica sausage (a delicious smoked Portuguese sausage). I have to say, it was pretty much perfect. It was chilly and I was feeling a little under the weather, so I wanted to eat something that would warm my bones, satisfy me, and combat my developing cold with some good, old-fashioned nutrition. It did all that and more.

This soup is so tasty, I had it for both lunch and dinner yesterday and woke up this morning considering it for breakfast. And beyond that, it's packed full of kale, which is a "hero" food--one of the best dark leafy greens you could eat for health. This soup has truly got it all.

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup
Adapted from Gourmet Quick Kitchen

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb chourico or linguica (smoked Portuguese sausages), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups water
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves thinly sliced

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown sausage, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to fat in pot and cook onion and garlic with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper over medium heat, stirring often, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add potatoes, water, and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered, until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mash some potatoes into soup to thicken, then add kale and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage and cook until just heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.

Note: Soup can be made a couple of days in advance. Just cover it and stick in the refrigerator. The kale will lose its vibrant green color, but the soup's flavor will get even better. Reheat slowly, uncovered, thinning with additional water if necessary.