Fall weather is upon us. What does this mean? Kale, Pumpkin, Squash and collard greens will be in your farmer’s market basket for the foreseeable future. If you live in the Bay Area, tomatoes will also be in your near future. One of the issues with getting similar products in your CSA basket every week is coming up with different (yet easy and quick) recipes to use. Soups and pasta dishes are a godsend on Sunday afternoons when I have foresworn the grocery store and limit myself to cook with only what I have on hand. Oh horrors! (I really hate to let food go to waste—one of my soap boxes, I know.) So, this past weekend we had two bunches of Kale, part of a Kuri squash and half a package of chorizo. Mmm…perfect…I can turn this into a riff of Portuguese Caldo Verde.
Caldo Verde has a thousand different variations, but it always includes some type of greens—collard, kale etc. I have had a love-hate relationship with kale for years. It all began when I went to Raw Vegan un-cooking camp a few years ago, We were fed raw kale for breakfast lunch and dinner. I’m talking soup, salad and kale kake. I knew that my relationship with kale would have to change when I got into my car, sniffed and realized that I smelled like kale.
Fast forward to the present, and I really enjoy cooked kale. Braised, stir-fried, I even like kale chips!
This soup was quick to make, loaded with nutrients, a little spicy and smoky from the chorizo and sweet from the pumpkin. It was perfect for a foggy San Francisco day.
Kale, Chorizo and Pumpkin Soup
2 bunches of kale, destemmed and finely chopped in the Cuisinart.
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced.
A glug of olive oil for sautéing the vegetables.
2 cups of pumpkin or squash, diced into bite sized cubes. (You could use: Kuri, Kabocha or Butternut Squash. Sweet Potatoes would work here too.
6 oz, chorizo, removed from the casing and set aside.
8 cups Stock or water
1 tsp. Aleppo Pepper (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Pour the olive oil in a soup pot or braising dish. When the oil is warm, gently sauté the onion and garlic. Add the chorizo to the pot and crumble. When the chorizo is cooked thru pour off any excess oil that has accumulated. Add the kale, pumpkin, Aleppo pepper if using and stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 25 minutes or so until the pumpkin is very tender and starting to fall apart. (This will add substance to the soup.) Remove from the heat, taste, season and taste again. Enjoy!