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Potato Soup with Kale and Chorizo

March 1, 2010

I know. I wrote about kale soup yesterday. But for us folks in CSAs who freeze their weekly share of kale during the summer, there isn’t much else to cook at this time of year.

And have I written about how good kale is for you, by the way?

Allow me to sing its praises by quoting from one of my favorite cookbooks, From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce. “Nutritionally, kale is vastly superior to most vegetables. it is very rich in vitamins A, C, and the mneral calcium. B vitamins and other minerals are also in excellent supply. Kale is also the highest in protein content of all the cultivated vegetables.” Additionally, this cookbook informed me that “The largest consumer of kale in this country is Pizza Hut, but not for eating–it is used only to decorate the salad bar . . .”

However, kale isn’t the only star in this soup. Chorizo co-stars. Chorizo is a sausage that is either fresh or cooked, depending on the variety. The original version of this recipe called for a fully cooked chorizo or hot Calabrese salami. However, I can get uncooked chorizo sausage (more like a Mexican or Spanish sausage) locally, so I substituted that. Use whatever you can get your hands on; I trust the original recipe and our version (Justin cooked this time) is very good, as well.

5 T. olive oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

8 oz. chorizo–smoked or uncooked, chopped if necessary

2 t. paprika

1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, pelled and cut into 1/4″ slices

8 C. chicken broth

1 1/2 lbs. kale (You can use the stems; just chop them up and add them with the onions.)

3 C. 1/2 ” cubes hearty or rustic bread

Heat 3 T. oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and kale stems (if using); cook until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chorizo and paprika; stir one minute. Add potatoes and broth. Increase heat and bring to boil. Add kale; stir until wilted and soup returns to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the crutons. Heat 2 T. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes and saute’ until golden, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle crutons with salt and pepper.

Divide soup among bowls. Top with crutons and serve. (Makes about 6 servings.)

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