Portuguese Kale Soup

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My grandmother (from Fall River Massachusettes) taught me to make this soup just before I went to college. I tweaked it a little, but not much. This is portuguese soul food. It cures all ills, especially the rainy cabin fever I get here in Seattle each winter.

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   turmeric
  • add   1/2 bottle dry sherry or white wine
  • add   10 cups fresh kale
  • add   1 lemon
  • add   1 can diced tomatoes
  • add   3 large potatoes
  • add   1/2-3/4 cup finely minced garlic
  • add   1-2 can great northern beans (white, kidneys or pintos would do fine too)
  • add   3/4 lb Portuguese chourico (or chorizo, the mexican version, if you like)
  • add   thyme
  • add   hot sauce (I prefer Tabasco)
  • add   2 large white onions or yellow onions
  • add   1 apple
  • add   kosher salt
  • add   2-3 bay leaves
  • add   black pepper


  1. Dump the potatoes in a big old stock pot with the garlic, the wine and about a gallon of water or stock, about a tbs of salt, a few dashes of hot sauce, the two apple halves and the bay leaves.
  2. Heat on medium with a lid.
  3. While the potatoes soften, simmer the chourico in a smallish sauce pan.
  4. Add a little olive oil if it's really lean sausage.
  5. Cover it and simmer on low (you want to save all the savory, spicey yumminess to stay right there in the pan!) When the potatoes are good and soft, mash them.
  6. (I take the apples out-- they should be floating... for a sweeter soup, leave them in, but take the peels off.) I mash them right there in the stock pot, but some people like to strain them out, smash'em and then put them back in.
  7. Whatever you do,*don't* dump out all of the wonderful broth the potatoes have created for you.
  8. Don't smash them entirely if you like a nice chunky soup.
  9. When the chourico is all cooked (I tell by the consistency.) put the onions in the pan and put the lid back on.
  10. Turn off the heat, and let the onions start to wilt in the pan.
  11. Let the potato broth simmer without a lid for about 1/2 hour.
  12. Taste it.
  13. Adjust salt/pepper.
  14. Take out the Bay Leaves Add the Kale, the Chourico/Onion mixture, the thyme, turmeric (about 1 tsp each), and the beans.
  15. Let it simmer with the lid off for about 1/2 hour.
  16. Taste it, adjust it.
  17. Add the juice of about the 1/4 of the lemon.
  18. Continue to simmer and taste for about 1 hour or so adjusting lemon, spices, salt, and hot sauce.
  19. Serve with some crusty bread, and parmesean cheese to put on top.