The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘autumn leaves’

My Cousin Vinny to the Rescue

In General Articles on October 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

As the daylight hours grow shorter here on Cape Cod and the autumn chill creeps in, my thoughts turn to soup; and when I think of soup, I naturally think of Uncle Fred. Fred always made big batches of soup, broke them down into 1 and 2 quart containers and froze them for quick, nutritious and delicious meals for Aunt Jo and him to enjoy during the long, cold, New England winter. He usually kept one in the back of the freezer as a welcome for when my wife and I would arrive with our children for our annual August vacation in Falmouth. Even though it was mid-summer, that soup would become our first night’s meal.

One of his favorites, reflective of the large local Portuguese speaking community, was Kale Soup. It’s an amalgam of chopped kale, white beans (I used canned beans, which saves time and effort, just be sure to rinse and drain them first), Portuguese sausage and potatoes; delicious, nutritious and sticks to your ribs.  I know that Fred wrote down the recipe for me, but I was unable to find it yesterday when I went to the market to pick-up the main ingredients.

However, I did find a batch of recipes and notes from my cousin, Chef Vincent, Fred’s son. Vince’s Kale Soup is a little different from the version I concocted yesterday, he doesn’t use beans.   Nonetheless, we share a penchant for good eating, something obviously inherited from our fathers and grandfather. But I don’t ever remember Grandpa in the kitchen, Grandma did all of the cooking, so whatever skill Vince and I have in that regard, must have been passed down from her.

Here’s Vince’s take on soup:

‘There’s nothing like a nice hot bowl of hearty soup on a cold winter’s day!  I love cooking soups in the cold months (and it gets cold – for a long time – in Massachusetts!).  The aroma fills the house, and the stove keeps the kitchen warm.  It’s such a cozy feeling.  It’s even more comforting when you get to eat the finished product!  My soups are a meal in themselves.  Eat them with a nice loaf of warm bread.  Man, that’s living!’

I can’t improve on that testimony, so without further ado, check out Portuguese Kale Soup and do cook up a batch as the Autumn Leaves  start to fall.

Portuguese Kale Soup

In Recipes, Soups on October 15, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Portuguese Kale Soup

(Yield – about 5 quarts. Active preparation time 1 hour, unattended cooking time 2 hours)


1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
7 cloves garlic, minced
6 15oz. cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
3 lbs. Chouriço, or Linguiça sliced about ¼ inch, or less, thick
4 qts. water
1 cup Beef or Chicken Broth
1 & 1/2 lbs. Kale, (2 medium sized bunches) remove leaves from stems, rip leaves and discard stems
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced and diced in 3/4 inch pieces


1.    In an 8 quart pot, heat olive oil on medium.
2.    Add onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes.
3.    Add 3 cans of the beans, stir well and cook 5 minutes.
4.    Add sausage, raise heat to medium, cook 3 minutes.
5.    Add water and broth, stir well and bring to a boil.
6.    When soup is at a full boil, add kale and potatoes, stir well and return to a boil.
7.    Reduce heat to medium and boil uncovered for 1 hour.
8.    Mash 1 can (2 cups) of the beans in a food processor and stir into the soup.
9.    Add the remaining 2 cans of beans to the soup and stir.
10.    Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for an additional hour.

Serve as a meal along with warm, crusty bread. Leftovers may be frozen in 1 or 2 quart containers to serve as additional meals during the long, cold, winter.

Please see: My Cousin Vinny to the Rescue

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