I had my first taste of Portuguese Kale soup years ago when I was working in Fall River, Massachusetts. Fall River is blue collar town with a history rich in fishing, shipping, manufacturing and sailing. With a large Portuguese immigration population, this kale-chourico soup is on the menu of a lot of the local restaurants. A hearty, warm soup for the colder months; it has become my “go to” soup recipe for kale.
My favorite kale to use is the wintered Siberian Kale harvested straight from our fields in the winter months. After the first frosts of the fall season, the siberian kale takes on a sweeter more mellow flavor. On the farm, we can harvest the Siberian most of the winter as it is a hearty plant that survives the coldest of weather. Part cover crop, part cash crop, we plant the siberian with a mixture of clovers for winter protection. In the spring, the kale and nitrogen capturing clover help feed our soil with rich organic matter that is turned right under.
I think the key to this recipe is finding a good Chourico (Chorizo) sausage. I’ve tried a lot from the supermarkets but they all seem to have an artificial flavor or try to mask poor taste with a spicy heat. Recently, I found what I believe is the best chorizo I’ve ever tasted from a local butcher shop here in Franklin, TN, The Carnivore Market. Located just off 5 points in Franklin, their sausage is a perfection of spice and smokey flavors that immediately melds with all the ingredients of the soup making a perfect bowl. Their chorizo is so good, we have made this soup twice in the last week.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 lb (1 bunch) siberian kale, chopped
16 oz. diced tomatoes (perfect use of canned summer tomatoes)
10 oz chick peas (garbanzos beans)
1 lb diced chourico (chorizo in Spain)
1 quart chicken broth
Heat the oil in shallow pan over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions and cook 8-10 minutes til potatoes are softened. Add garlic and kale. Cover and cook til kale is wilted. Transfer contents to medium sauce or soup pot. Add beans, tomatoes, chourico and broth to the pot and bring up heat to slow simmer. Cook for additional 15-20 minutes to really blend flavors together and bring out the chorizo.