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Monday, March 25, 2013

Portuguese Sausage and Tomato Soup

One of my favorite soups, a true comfort food I love to eat in the winter. Of course, it can be eaten all year round.

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Portuguese Sausage and Tomato Soup


adapted from Emeril Legasse

Serves 5-6

3 slices bacon, diced
½ pound linguisa sausage, thinly sliced
½ pound chorizo sausage (Spanish or Portuguese), sliced or crumbled
    or a full pound of either
1 c finely chopped red onions (I’ve made it with yellow onions and it was fine)
¾ teas paprika
½ teas oregano
½ teas thyme
¼ teas cayenne pepper
½ teas freshly ground black pepper
½ (or less) crushed red pepper flakes
4 -5 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
4 cups chopped tomatoes, or a 28 oz can with juice, or an equivalent amount of frozen
2 cans chicken broth (or equal amount of homemade broth)
1 can white beans (of any type) rinsed and drained, optional
several potatoes, diced and cooked, optional (can be added raw 20-25 minutes before finishing)
2-3 handfuls of coarsely chopped kale or chard
salt (taste before adding since bacon, sausage, beans and broth are all salty)
¼ c finely chopped fresh cilantro

Note:  This soup is great without optional items, but I find it more hearty with some of them, at least. Also, these sausages can be quite spicy. If you need to keep heat under control, cut down the cayenne and red pepper flakes. This can be easily doubled for a crowd.

Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large saucepan until nearly crisp.  Add the sausage and cook with the bacon until browned.  Add the onions and cook until soft.  Add the spices and herbs and let bloom for about 1 minute.  Stir in the garlic and cook about half a minute until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes (I like to let mine cook longer, if I have time).  Stir in beans, potatoes (you can add them earlier, if you want to let them cook in the broth--give them 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the cubes) and kale and let cook until the kale has wilted.  Stir in the cilantro and serve.  Serve with crusty bread.

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