Monday, November 15, 2010

White Bean-Kale-Chorizo Soup

Serves  8
My apologies to the original creator of this soup, but I honestly can’t remember where this recipe heralds from.  It’s been in my files since long before I was in the habit of keeping track of that sort of thing.
    White Bean-Kale-Chorizo Soup
1/2 pound dried white beans (such as Cannellini or Great Northern)
8 cups chicken stock (homemade is best, but Swanson’s certified organic free-range     
   chicken broth
is a close second)
1 bay leaf
pinch saffron
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound Spanish chorizo sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, cored and chopped
1 Tbl paprika
2 small bunches kale, tough stems removed, washed well and torn into large pieces
2 Tbl sherry vinegar
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Soup Ingredients
Place the beans in a large bowl and cover by one inch with water.  Let sit overnight.  Drain the beans, discarding the water.  Transfer the beans to a large soup pot.  Add the chicken stock and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer.  Cook, partially covered, and stirring occasionally, keeping it at a bare simmer, until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Drain the beans from the cooking liquid.  Reserve both the beans and cooking liquid, keeping them in separate containers.
In a small bowl, combine the saffron with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.  Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in the soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate and set aside.  Add the chopped onion to the soup pot.  Season with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 7-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.  Add the red pepper and cook about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the paprika and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute more.  Add the kale, cooking liquid and saffron mix to the soup pot.  Cook at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and tender, about 20 minutes.  Taste, then season as needed with salt and pepper.  Add the beans and cook again at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add the chorizo and vinegar, stirring to combine.  Taste again, and season as needed with salt and pepper.  Serve hot. 
This soup can be made ahead and kept refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to five days.  Making it a day or two ahead can actually improve the flavor even. 
Bowlfull of Comfort