An Homage to Gourmet

It's been about 10 days since I received the final issue of Gourmet magazine in the mail. And it was a sad, sad day. Honestly, I couldn't even open the magazine for a few days, but just admired it from afar (even though I thought the cover was lame), knowing it would be the last time I would thumb through a brand-new issue of Gourmet magazine.

I mean, how could they shut down one of the nation's most respected food publications that's been inspiring people to cook, travel, eat and live well for nearly 70 years?

Well, Conde Nast did it and I still haven't gotten over it. I just hope someone brings it back to life...until then, I am going to cherish the last few Gourmet magazines I still have, as well as the 100's of recipes I have collected over the years, and cook as many things as I can. It's the least I can do to keep Gourmet's spirit alive.

And since we're experiencing just the tiniest bit of fall in San Antonio, I thought I would make the Portuguese Kale Soup that is on page 68 of the November issue.

I absolutely love kale, and make a mean raw kale salad, but you'll have to wait until spring for that recipe. Kale is one of the most nutrient rich veggies and it's full of antioxidants.

But because it's got a lot of texture, cooking it makes it more palatable for many people. It wilts beautifully in this soup. Add some yummy Spanish chorizo and some potatoes and you've got great flavor.

Of course, I tweaked the recipe a bit, adding an extra potato, some red pepper flakes and two Parmesan cheese rinds. ( not throw the rinds out, but instead toss them in a ziploc bag and into the freezer they go, for moments like this when you want to add richness to a soup without the calories. It's a wonderful trick!)

This recipe is super easy to make, doesn't require any stock (which adds loads of sodium to the soup) and it's a hearty, nutritious and tasty soup. From start to finish, it takes about 45 minutes and it only took me about 15 minutes of active prep time, so it's a very quick lunch or dinner to put together.

Serve it with a salad and a crusty loaf of bread and you've got yourself a perfect fall meal. And remember that soup is always better the next day, so you can make it today and eat it tomorrow....and the next day!

Buen provecho!

Portuguese Kale Soup
Adapted by The Cowgirl Gourmet from the November 2009 issue of Gourmet magazine

Print Recipe

Serves 4

1/4 cup EVOO, approximately 4 T.
1/2-3/4 lb. Spanish chorizo, depending on how much chorizo you want in the soup, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, Kosher, and freshly ground black pepper
2 large Russet baking potatoes, about 2 lbs., cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cups of water
1 lb. kale, preferably organic, with the stems and ribs removed and leaves very thinly sliced (chiffonaded)
Add a glug of EVOO, a few shots of hot sauce, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and perhaps a sprinkle of red pepper flakes before serving, depending on how spicy you like your food

Heat 2 T. EVOO in a 5-qt. heavy soup pot over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the sausage and let brown, stirring often, for about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl. If you need more oil, add another T., but the sausage should have left a nice orangey oil in the pot.

Add onion and garlic to oil with 1/4 tsp. salt (preferrably Kosher) and pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned and translucent.

Add potatoes, water, two Parmesan rinds and 1 tsp. salt and simmer, covered, until potatoes are very tender, which wil be about 15-20 minutes.

While the potatoes are simmering, rinse the kale, shaking as much of the water off as possible. Grabbing a piece of kale by the stem in one hand, use the other hand to grab the stem and pull in the opposite direction, tearing the kale off the rib. This should happen in one swift move. Set aside the stems, roll up the kale leaves and slice into thin strips. (This cutting technique is called chiffonade.) After cutting the kale, place it in a big bowl. Keep in mind that kale is like spinach in that it will wilt to nothing once it hits the hot broth.

Once the potatoes are done, mash some of them into the broth so it thickens, then add the kale and sausage and simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.

Taste the broth and, if needed, add some more salt and stir.

Serve soup and top with a splash of EVOO, freshly grated Parmesan, a shot or two of hot sauce (we used the green Tabasco) and a sprinkle (or not) of red pepper flakes.
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