There are many versions of this soup, most containing the same basic ingredients: spicy sausage, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, red kidney beans, and of course, kale. Chorizo is often used, but I like to use hot Italian sausage for an added layer of flavor, and I omit the red beans in this recipe. I love hearty, spicy soups this time of year. The aroma of this one bubbling in a pot on the stove is one of those things that make you breathe deeply and feel glad to be at home. I adapted my version from one found in one of my favorite cookbooks: The Guild Collection, Recipes from Art Lovers, published by the The Guild of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
Portuguese Kale Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound Italian sausage (we like to use Hot)
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound small red potatoes, diced
14 ounces chopped tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes and chiles
3 cups chicken broth
1 bunch kale, or about 6 cups
Heat olive oil, remove sausage from casing and crumble into oil to brown. Add chopped onions and saute until they begin to brown. Add cumin and thyme, then add potatoes. Add tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, and chicken broth. Simmer for 30 minutes. While this is cooking, wash kale and strip out the tough stems, then chop into large pieces. Add to the soup mixture and cook 5-10 minutes, until kale is wilted.