Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chorizo, Kale, & White Bean Soup

Maybe if you've been poking around, you've noticed I've changed the design of the blog a bit.  The latest addition was a new travel log, which is something I've debated adding since the blog's inception.  I saw a really inspiring version of a travel log on one of my new favorite food blogs, My Name is Yeh (a blogger whose work/design I really love, and turns out she happened to grow up pretty much down the street from me).  So, anyways, I added that new page and writing those little blurbs sort of brought me back to one of the blog's major missions: to share my global food finds.  Making it also brought me a deep sense of saudade...and inspired this post.

By no means have I exhausted my list of flavors that I've found while traveling, particularly from Morocco and Portugal.   It's just that sometimes the practicalities of life get it in the way of recreating these finds.  But this weekend I tackled a version of Portugal's caldo verde, or a kale and potato soup spiced up with a choirço (chorizo).  We ate this as a first course at almost every restaurant we went to in Portugal.

The thing about caldo verde is that it is truly a simple soup, a sort of home cooked staple.  The flavor is mild, if not muted, hence the need for a few slices of spicy sausage.  Moreover, Garrett didn't find anything too mind-blowing about it (although I loved it).  So after he nixed the idea of making traditional caldo verde, he dreamt up a soup with greens and white beans.  I interpreted this as "caldo verde with beans," and this is the result.  Relationships are all about compromise.

I went ahead and made the nearest thing I could to chorizo with lean ground turkey, just to keep this as healthy as possible, but you could certainly save yourself a few steps and get pre-made chorizo.
Ingredients (makes 6 servings):
  • 1 lb. chorizo (see recipe below for a healthy turkey chorizo)
  • 1.5 lbs. golden potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups stemmed and chopped kale
  • 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and washed
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and washed
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt to taste
Lean Turkey Chorizo:
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar

Start by making the chorizo (mix the spices and turkey well) and cooking it in a frying pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Cook until browned and set aside.  (If using pre-made chorizo, slice thinly or dice.)
While the choirzo cooks, prepare the vegetables and wash/drain the beans.
In a large pot, bring 1 tbsp. olive oil to medium-high heat and add the chopped onion and garlic.  Salt.  Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the diced potatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.  With a slotted spoon, remove almost half the potatoes and crush them down with a fork until smooth (or use a food processor).  Add back to the pot, and this will thicken the broth.
Add the chorizo, beans, and kale to the pot.  Return to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. The trave log is amazing. It makes me wish I had kept or made something of the sort myself! What fantastic things we've done. Can't wait to pick up again this summer.

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