lovely leafy, green, sturdy, unctuous, kale.
i love to make this soup with kale because it always makes me happy. it is a portuguese soup and i should probably mention that my husband's mother's family is from the azores, a portuguese archipelago in the middle of the atlantic. a reminder of portugal's dominance of the oceans in the Not So Distant Past.
this soup contains onions, garlic, kale, potatoes, stock, and if you are so lucky and inclined, crispy seared slices of chorizo floating around in there. my mother-in-law's family always referred to this much-adored soup as "ugly soup" but i think of it as "happy soup." this soup, a roaring fire, some crusty bread, a bit of olive oil. nom nom nom. rustic, hearty, peasant food. my favorite kind.
ugly (happy) soup
1 large bunch kale (tough stems removed, leaves finely slivered)
1 large onion, chopped
2 lb russet potatoes peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly smashed
2 quarts chicken stock
1 leek, sliced
chorizo sausage, sliced and grilled or seared
saute onions and garlic for a few minutes in a few glugs of olive oil. add stock and potatoes. bring to a boil. turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. add the kale. simmer for 5 minutes more. add in the leeks. if you like, remove 1/3 to half the soup from the pot briefly and puree in a blender, being careful not to burn yourself with the hot soup, then return to the pot. meanwhile saute the chorizo. ready your soup bowls and place the chorizo in each bowl as you serve. an extra drizzle of olive oil is nice on top of the soup and some wonderful crusty, natural bread is all you need. perfect food for weathering a good storm, like the one we are having today. a deluge more like it.
note: to sliver the kale leaves and slice them fine, it is best to roll up the kale leaves, once the stems have been removed, like a rather large cigar, then they are easy to slice.