CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Kale And Chorizo Soup

The idea of throwing together a pot of hot soup during the summer months may not appeal to everyone.

But anyone who’s undertaken such a venture knows that the rewards greatly outweigh the prospects of a heating up the kitchen when outside temperatures typically reach the 80s and 90s.

That’s because there’s hardly any winter soup that can hold a candle to one that’s mainly comprised of fresh vegetables from the garden.

One of my favorites to use in a hearty summer soup is kale, one of the most healthiest and most nutritious vegetables in existence. Of all the super-healthy greens, kale is the king. It is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds … some of which have powerful medicinal properties.

Here are just a few:

  • Kale is loaded with powerful antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol.
  • It is an excellent source of vitamin C.
  • It can help lower cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • It is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin K.
  • There are numerous cancer-fighting substances in kale.
  • It is very high in beta-carotene.

The following recipe, which is a variation of Caldo Verde, the national soup of Portugal, is loaded with mounds of shredded kale as well as other nutritious giants such as beans and tomatoes.

And it takes very little time to put together, cook and have on the table, which shoots down any argument about having a hot soup on a hot day!

Kale and Chorizo Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium Yukon golds, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 pound kale, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 15-ounce can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 pound diced chorizo, casing removed
1 quart chicken broth
Heat oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Add potatoes, carrots and onions, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, bay leaves and kale to the pot. Cover pot and wilt greens, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomatoes, chorizo and broth to the pot and bring soup to a full boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Serve soup with hunks of crusty bread and butter.

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