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Author Notes: Newly cooler temperatures, welcome as an introduction to either autumn or spring, make me think of soups featuring baby, hearty greens. I developed this particular soup a couple of years ago; its lingering memory makes me eager to recreate it year after year, with a few small variations. (Let’s just say I added too much beer one year. A coworker walked into the breakroom while I was reheating some for lunch and asked if I was drinking. She was disappointed to learn it was just soup.)
The inspiration for this soup: On the one hand, we have frijoles borrachos, (drunken beans) a simple and addictive Mexican dish featuring pinto beans simmered with onions, garlic, chiles, beer, and a smoked meat such as bacon. (A savory side dish that’s wonderful in its own right.) On the other hand, Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup consisting of greens (usually kale) and spicy sausage (usually linguica), in broth, along with onions and garlic.
In this soup, I combine the two concepts into one satisfying bowl. I like to sub chard for the kale because the beautiful, baby rainbow chard leaves at the Farmer’s Market in the autumn and spring are often irresistible. - indieculinary
- 4 spicy cured pork sausages, such as linguica or andouille
- 1 pound washed greens, such as rainbow chard or dino kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 jalapenos
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 12 ounces beer, preferably a Mexican lager
- 4 cups chicken stock or broth
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans
- 1.5 cups water
- ground black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Dice the sausage and render in the olive oil, over low heat, in a stock pot.
- Dice the onions and jalapeno and add to the sizzling sausage and oil with a bit of ground black pepper; saute until onions are clear.
- Mince the garlic and add to the pot; stir and cook briefly.
- Add the beer and turn up the heat until the liquid is slightly reduced.
- Add the chicken stock, beans, and water.
- Dice the greens into bite-sized ribbons (be sure to include colorful stems, in the case of the chard), and add.
- Simmer soup at least 20 minutes. Taste, and salt as necessary.
- Serve! This soup is fantastic with hunks of fresh-baked bread, especially if it's been slathered with peppery olive oil and briefly crisped in the oven.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Autumn Soup