Mike Melo’s Kale Soup (from his Vava!)
- 1 pound beef chuck, cut in cubes, OR beef shank or shin
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 link (about 8 ounces) chouriço
- 1 16-ounce can kidney beans OR 4 ounces dry kidney beans, cooked until tender with a chopped onion, a garlic clove, and a fat pinch of salt
- 1 pound kale leaves, coarsely chopped (1 huge bunch)
- ½ pound cabbage, coarsely chopped (about ¼ small cabbage)
- 1 pound potatoes, cut in dice (3 or 4 medium)
- white pepper to taste
Place beef, salt, and chouriço in a large soup pot. Cover with 2 quarts cold water. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Skim the fat and foam that rises to the surface, partly cover the pot, and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Remove the chouriço links and set aside. Continue cooking the beef until the meat is tender, another 40 minutes to an hour or more.
Strain the beans from their liquid and crush them roughly, then add them to the soup pot along with all the vegetables. Slice the chouriço and add it too. Simmer another 40 minutes until all is tender. Taste for salt and add pepper to taste.
Serve with crusty bread. Mike suggests that diners may wish to season their own portions with crushed red pepper or a bit of wine from their glasses.