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Portuguese Chorizo and Kale Soup


  • 3⁄4 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 pounds shin beef with bones
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
  • 1 medium carrot, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds kale, tough ribs removed, leaves torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound chorizo, cut into 1⁄4-inch rounds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper


In a large saucepan, cover the beans with 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 1 hour; drain the beans.

Meanwhile, in a stockpot or large flameproof casserole, heat the oil. Add the beef shins and sauté over moderate heat, turning until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside.

Add the onions to the pot and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic.

Return the beef to the pot. Add the carrot, bay leaf, salt and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Simmer for 2 1⁄2 hours, skimming frequently.

Remove beef from the pot. When cool, remove meat from the bones and dice into 3⁄4-inch pieces, discarding any gristle.

Return beef to the soup, add kidney beans and cook until they are tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Add the kale, potatoes, chorizo and hot pepper. Cook one hour longer. Serves 16.

Cook’s note: Soup is even better made a day ahead and reheated. Get authentic Portuguese sausage from Amaral’s in New Bedford (508-993-7645 or Burritt’s in Traverse City (231-946-3300) and Hansen Foods in Suttons Bay (231-271-4280) also carry specialty sausages.

Wine pairing: Merlot