Portuguese Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

January is soup season – not only is it a warming meal when the weather is cold, but it’s inexpensive, easy to prepare, and healthy, as most soups contain large quantities of vegetables. Soup is one of my favourite vehicles for leafy greens such as kale, which goes so well in hearty soups – it wilts into the soup, making it far easier to eat. While this soup is made with cured sausage, like kielbasa, it could be made with a chunk of ham or fresh Italian sausages instead – any will go a long way to flavour the broth.

To make this soup even heartier, add a 14 oz (398 mL) can of chickpeas or white cannellini beans, drained. Either way, serve it with crusty bread to mop up the broth.

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

adapted from Gourmet

extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking
1/2 lb smoked Portuguese sausages or kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb Yukon Gold or other thin-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
salt and pepper
1 bunch kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves thinly sliced
Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

In a medium-large heavy pot set over medium-high heat, add a generous drizzle of oil and let it sit until it shimmers; brown the sausage, stirring often for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the potatoes, stock, water, salt and pepper and simmer, until the potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Mash some potatoes into soup to thicken, then add the kale and simmer for 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted and tender. Serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese grated on top if you like.

Serves 4-6.

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