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Spanish-Style White Bean, Kale, and Chorizo Soup
Makes 6 Servings
*1/2 pound dried white beans, such as Great Northern, rinsed and picked over
*8 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferable homemade
*1 bay leaf, preferably Turkish
*Kosher salt to taste
*Pinch of saffron threads
*2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
*3 Spanish chorizo sausages, about 3/4 pound, cut into 1/2-inch dice (See Notes)
*1 large onion, finely chopped
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
*1 tbls. sweet paprika
*1 small bunch kale, about 3/4 pound, tough stems removed, washed well, and coarsely chopped
*Freshly ground black pepper to taste
*Sherry vinegar to taste
1Place the beans in a large pot or soup kettle. Pour in 2 quarts of the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Cook, partially covered, stirring often and adjusting the heat to keep it at a slow steady simmer, until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
2Soak the saffron in the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock.
3Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the red pepper and the paprika. Cook for 2 minutes longer, then transfer the contents of the skillet to the bean pot. Stir in the saffron with the soaking liquid, the chorizo, and the kale. Bring back to a simmer and cook just until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the vinegar, and serve hot in warmed soup bowls.
  • Chorizo is a kind of sausage popular in Mexico and Spain. It is usually made from pork (but it can also be made from beef or other meat) flavored with garlic and chiles. The Mexican chorizo is made with ancho or pasilla chiles, and the Spanish is made with paprika. Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage, which must be cooked completely, while the Spanish chorizo is a smoked, dry-cured, ready-to-eat sausage.

Recipes adapted from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Copyright (C)2002 by Sara Moulton, published by Broadway Books