the appetizer:

The New Portuguese Table by David Leite, includes recipes like Piri-Piri Sauce, Molho de Piri-Piri; Grilled Chicken Slathered in Hot Sauce, Frango com Piri-Piri; Azorean Kale, Sausage, and Bean Soup, Sopa de Couve; and Olive Oil-Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Confitado de Bacalhau Fresco com Tomatada Assada.

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Azorean Kale, Sausage, and Bean Soup
Sopa de Couve

Azorean Kale, Sausage, and Bean Soup

Serves 8 to 10


If the mainland's Green Soup (page 69 of the book) is an uptown kale soup, this Azorean version is definitely its downtown and more rugged cousin. This is my mom's recipe, which she's been making for almost fifty years. What I like about it, and what my mother always insists on, is that it has a sizable amount of chouriço—not the miserly single slice of a bowl of classic caldo verde. As odd as it may sound, try reheating a few ladlefuls for breakfast on a cold morning, as my dad does. It'll hold you better than oatmeal.

1. Drain the beans, dump them into a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, parlially covered, until the beans are tender but still hold their shape, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Toss in the chouriço and cook until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Fish out the slices with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of fat from the pot, or, if the pot is dry, drizzle in more oil so you have 3 tablespoons. Add the onions and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions are deeply golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the onions from burning.

3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the beef stock and 5 cups of water, add the potatoes, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. While the soup is simmering, spoon a third of the beans and a bit of the soup broth into a food processor. Pulse to make a loose paste, then, if desired, pass the paste through a sieve. Straining the paste gives the dish extra body without errant bean skins floating in your soup. It's entirely optional but, I think, preferable.

5. When the potatoes are cooked, stir in the collards, chouriço, bean paste, and beans. Turn off the heat and let the soup sit for 10 minutes to marry the flavors.

6. Remove the bay leaf, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, and ladle into warm bowls.

Variação (Variation)
A heartier Azorean Kale, Sausage, and Bean Soup (Sopa de Couve com Mais Substência)

For a more substantial dish, in step 5 add leftover, falling-apart-tender meat from the Braised Beef Shanks (page 144) or shredded bits from a cooked ham hock or two. For more vegetables, cut carrots, turnips, or parsnips into 1/2-inch cubes and add them to the soup in step 3, after adding the stock and water. Cook them until firm-tender then add the potatoes and continue with the recipe.


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This page created May 2010