This soup contains no lions, but plenty of magic. 

When I was little, there were a few occasions where my family was buried under a mountain of kale.  Through some combination of the food co-op having a surplus, and my mother's varying heathy food obsessions, our refrigerator was often packed with this robust leafy green. My father was the one who struggled to make it attractive to three little picky eaters.  The best way he found was to cook it into a soup with some sausage.  

When I quit being vegetarian, this was one of the first meat dishes I tried to cook, being mostly vegetable in nature. Now I make it when I am sick and need to feel better. The kale is full of vitamin C and iron, and the red pepper will add enough spice to clear out stuffed sinuses. It's very warming on a cold winter afternoon, and mixes happily with white or brown ale.



    1 bunch of curly or dinosaur kale, rinsed off.  At my grocer, the bunch of leaves is as big as a head of romaine. 
    ~1 lb of linguica or other sausage, cut into 1 inch chunks.  Chorizo has a similar consistency, but adds a bit of spice.
    1 small onion, coarsely diced
    3 carrots cut into 1 inch slices
    lots of garlic.  You can mince it or throw in whole cloves, but I am lazy and buy it minced in a jar.
    Potatoes. I like little new red potatoes, cut in half and then into 1/8 to make little wedges
    8 cups of chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
    Dollop of olive oil to fry onions
    Any other soup veggies, turnips, parsnips, etc, will be tasty, peeled and cut into chunks, but they might increase simmering time.

These amounts are decidedly vague. You should spice this in whatever way makes you happiest, but here's what I usually put in:

    enough cinnamon for an apple pie (this is my secret ingredient, so don't tell anyone)
    some crushed basil
    a couple bay leaves for luck
    a little pile of whole mustard seed
    enough ground cayenne pepper to get the heat you want
    I think I put in some thyme last time, but rosemary would be nice too.
    Maybe some paprika?

    Salt - I always use Kosher Salt for the coarse texture
    Fresh ground black pepper



So.  I like a big stockpot for this, one that can hold a couple gallons.  Give the pot a couple tablespoons of oil and turn the fire to medium-low.  Put in the onions and garlic and stir them every so often until the onions are just a little yellow and smelling sweet.

At this point I'll toss in the carrots and potatoes and cover it while I cut the leafy bits of kale off the tough woody stems. Kitchen shears are great for this.  Stack the kale leaves and fold the leaves in half lengthwise, and you can just cut out the spine.  Then slice the leaves into 1in strips. Throw these in the pot and cover the whole mess with stock or water.  Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to an easy simmer.

When the kale is soft, add the chunks of linguica and spices.  Portugese linguica, which is what I can buy from my local grocer, is fully cooked before packaging. If you were adding an uncooked sausage, you'd want to cook it thoroughly before adding to the soup.  Keep simmering until the potatoes will fall off a fork when stabbed.

At this point,  the soup is basically done, but the longer you let it simmer, the better it will taste.  Just make sure to add water whenever the food starts peeking out over the liquid level.  I actually prefer this soup the next day, after it's had a night in the refrigerator, and then brought back to a new boil.  

I always serve it very hot with a chunk of dense buttered bread.   And a big spoon.



I haven't tried chicken or turkey sausage in this recipe, but I imagine it would work out fine. 

To make it vegetarian, I might substitute chickpeas for sausage and add a tablespoon of soy sauce for the umami taste and possibly a tablespoon more oil, but I haven't tried that either.  

A handful of rice (especially wild rice, which would add a nice chewy texture) when you add the water will stretch this soup a bit further, but increase the cooking time. 


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