Portuguese Kale Soup

Portuguese Kale Soup
Serves 6

6 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces Linguiça (or Spanish-style Chorizo if you can’t find it), sliced 1/4 – inch thick
2 large onions, cut in large dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 to 1-1/2 pounds kale (depending on the size of the bunches), center ribs removed, leaves cut into thin slices
2 15-ounce cans small white or red beans, drained and rinsed (See note below if you want to use dried beans)
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large soup pot. Cook the Linguiça slices in the oil until browned. Remove the sausage from the oil, then saute the onion in the pot until soft and just starting to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the potatoes, kale, Linguiça, and beans. Then add the stock and 4 cups of water, plus a little more if necessary to cover everything by an inch or two. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, to soften the kale. Add more water at this point if the soup seems too thick – it shouldn’t be a stew. Stir in 1 tablespoon of vinegar and taste. It should have just a little tang. Add more vinegar as necessary, along with more salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then serve.

Note on using dried beans: Soak 1 cup small white or red beans in a quart of water with 1 tablespoon salt overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, then put them in a pot with 2 quarts of water. Cook for an hour, then taste for doneness and cook longer if necessary. Save the cooking water to use in the soup.