January 8, 2012

Chorizo, Chickpea & Kale Soup

Last week was freezing!

I needed something hearty and warming, and I needed it fast. When Kale is in season (winter) I simply can't help myself from buying it in bunches every single week. But even my favorite kale preparation can get repetitive quickly when eaten that often. 

Enter this soup. The kale, which has been finely processed, is barely recognizable but for its intense and pervasive green color. It's simmered together with meaty hunks of browned chorizo (or cured chorizo for an even faster soup) and canned chickpeas. The combination is lovely. 

Since I wanted my soup to go a little farther in quantity, I went a little crazy and tossed in a cup or so of cute little dried pasta O's while it simmered for those ten minutes, then during the last five minutes added a handful of frozen edamame. These spontaneous additions added a lot of heart to the soup. Even if you don't have edamame (you could simply use more chickpeas, or a can of white beans would be very nice), definitely add the pasta. 

This soup is a one-stop power-meal of veggies, proteins, and carbs. In other words, Winter dinner perfection. 

Chorizo, Chickpea & Kale Soup
2 T. oil for the pan
1/4 lb. chorizo, removed from casing*
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 t. salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 lb. kale, cut from the center ribs and finely processed in the food processor
32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas
1 cup dried pasta of choice (a small variety)
Optional: 1 cup frozen edamame

*Cook's note: if you are using cured chorizo, simply dice into 1/2 pieces and stir in during the last few minutes of cooking.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook until browned, breaking up into small pieces while cooking. With a slotted spoon, remove chorizo onto a plate. Add onions to the oil in the pan and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and stir, 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, salt, pepper, red pepper, kale, broth, water, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is just cooked. If desired, stir in frozen edamame during the last five minutes of cooking.

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