Portuguese Kale Soup


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.

Serves 8

Linguini with Shrimp and Arugula



I love tangy bitter greens in salads, but the added flavor arugula brings to this sauce for linguini is amazing.  Preparation is simple even though a few steps are necessary for the sauce to come out right.  A fresh bunch of arugula from our CSA share this past week paired well with these ingredients.  We will make this again soon! Recipe is adapted from one found at http://www.epicurious.com, printed in a 1993 issue of Epicurious.


Shrimp and Arugula with Linguini.

yield:Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (about 12), shelled and deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of arugula, the stems discarded and the leaves washed wel
  • 3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced sweet basil
  • 1/2 pound linguini

In a heavy skillet heat oil until it is hot but not smoking,and sauté shrimp,  garlic, and  pepper flakes, stirring until the shrimp are pink and almost cooked through. Take out shrimp with a slotted spoon and reserve.

In the same skille,  add onion, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender. Add whitee wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add broth, simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, and stir in the cream. Simmer the sauce until it is thickened slightly, then stir in arugula and shrimp, and simmeruntil the shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the parsley, basil, salt and pepper and keep the sauce warm, covered. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook linguini until al dente.  Drain pasta, then combine with sauce in large bowl.  serve with shaved parmesan on top and add a slice of crusty French bread.

Ginger Shrimp and Broccoli


Baking in parchment paper packets is a quick and simple way to make this delicious meal. This recipe comes from the Reynolds Wrap website, which provides a how-to video demonstrating how to make the packets.  I also like to bake fish fillets on a bed of Napa Cabbage in the same manner.

Ginger Shrimp and Broccoli. 

4    cups broccoli florets

1    pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

2    cloves garlic, crushed

1    tablespoon sesame oil

½   tablespoon grated fresh ginger

½   tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400°F. Tear off four 15-inch sheets of parchment paper.  fold each sheet in half and crease it in the center.  Cut each into a heart shape; unfold.

Divide  broccoli and shrimp evenly on one-half of each sheet near crease. Mix garlic, sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce.  Spoon ¼ the mixture evenly over broccoli and shrimp on each sheet. Fold over other half of each sheet to enclose ingredients.  Starting at top, make small overlapping folds down entire length of parchment to secure edges together.  Twist last fold several times to make a tight seal.


Place parchment packets on a large baking sheet with 1-inch sides.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until shrimp is done.

Add  parchment packets to dinner plates.  Carefully cut an “X” in the top of each packet; open carefully, allowing steam to escape.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Soup

016Roasting is now my favorite method for preparing almost all vegetables and we love roasted cauliflower.  I love the super food kale, and use it in a variety of dishes. This recipe combines the two in a nutritious, creamy soup.  Add some kale chips and toasted pine nuts for texture and extra flavor. Yum!

I adapted this recipe from one found in a Williams-Sonoma catalog.

Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Soup 

  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil  (If you have it in your pantry, garlic infused olive oil works great here)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1  bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite size
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks,chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 cups  chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 450°F  Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 Tablespoons. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking shee and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and the edges are browned and crisp, about 20 – 25 minutes. Lower oven setting to 300°F

In a bowl, toss half of the kale with a drizzle. (about 1 Tablespoon) of  olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally until the kale is crispy, 25 to 30 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil in large soup pan. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6- 8 minutes. Add  garlic and saute for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the  kale and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender,blend soup until smooth.  Ladle into bowls.and top with the crispy kale and pine nuts.  Serve hot. Leftovers can be refrigerated and can be reheated or cold, in mugs.

Caramel Dipping Sauce with Sliced Apples

012Long before the current craze for the flavor of salted caramel in everything from ice cream to popcorn, caramel apples were a sign of the calendar’s turning to the months of Autumn. Fall festivals and Halloween parties featured apple bobbing and the sticky apple treats.  In our family, we love caramel apples, too, but we have made them like this for over 20 years. When we lived in Indonesia, I sang with a group of expat women known as the American Women’s Association Singers.  We performed at least 2 musicals to benefit Indonesian charities each year, and another fund-raising project was the publication of a spiral bound cookbook titled Sing a Rainbow of Recipes.  The recipe for Caramel Dip was submitted by my friend Loretta Slusher and I share with you exactly as she wrote it. She called it Joan Benson’s Caramel Dip, so I gather that she got the recipe from someone else!

Caramel Dipping Sauce with Sliced Apples

2 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup white Karo syrup

1/2 cup butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

pinch of salt

slices of fresh apples (a mixture of Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples is both pretty and tasty – we like crisp, tart apples)

Combine all ingredients, except apples, in saucepan.  Simmer, bringing to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring continually.  Serve, keeping warm, with slices of fresh apple for dipping.

Caution:  the caramel is very very hot so allow to cool slightly before dunking your apple slices.  I know, it is hard to wait but the taste is heavenly so you don’t want to burn your tongue!


Skye made this for her after school snack!