Kale, Chorizo & Butternut Squash Soup

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Soups are basically my reset button this time of year. I'm doing a lot of holiday testing for heavier dishes, and in between, I need inexpensive veggie-forward dinners. Kale soup has always been one of my favorite one-pot meals, especially with the spicy, garlicky flavor that smoked chorizo or linguiça sausage adds (either will work here.) I've made many different variations of kale soup over the years, and this is far from the most complex - but I love that it is uncomplicated and gets the job done. You can certainly prep all the ingredients yourself if you have the time, but this recipe lends itself easily to shortcuts like pre-cut squash, a bag of chopped kale, canned beans, and store-bought chicken stock. Use lacinato kale for more tender greens, or traditional curly kale for greens with more of a bite.

Kale, Chorizo & Butternut Squash Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
12 oz smoked chorizo or linguiça, sliced into rounds
1 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 cups de-stemmed, chopped kale (or 1 bag of chopped kale)
6 cups unsalted chicken stock (homemade, or fortified with gelatin - see notes)
2 cups diced butternut squash (frozen is okay)
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp butter

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6
Special Equipment: Dutch oven or other large heavy pot, grater or zester

Note: Unflavored gelatin will improve the mouthfeel of commercial chicken stock, so I keep it in my pantry for the times I'm out of homemade stock. Pour a half cup of the stock in a small dish, and sprinkle with the contents of two gelatin packets. Let it sit for five minutes, then microwave for fifteen seconds and stir to dissolve. Stir this into the soup after adding the remaining stock to the pot.

Heat your pot over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage rounds in olive oil for a few minutes, until they begin to brown and crisp around the edges.

Add the diced onion and sliced celery to the pot, and cook until softened, stirring frequently. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir in the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika. Cook for another minute until fragrant.

Place all the chopped kale in the pot and stir to combine with the other ingredients. Cook for a few minutes until the kale has wilted and softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the chicken stock into the pot, along with the melted gelatin if using. 

Bring the broth up to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Stir in the chopped butternut squash.

Allow the soup to simmer gently until the butternut squash is cooked and kale is also tender, about fifteen minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the drained beans.

Simmer until the beans have warmed through. To finish, stir in the lemon juice and butter until melted.

Serve hot with crusty bread, if desired!

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  1. This looks so good! I was wondering if the sausage was a must or if it can be omitted? Or perhaps replaced with beef meatballs?