Barbara Kafka

White Bean, Chorizo, and Broccoli di Rape Soup

(from Soup, A Way of Life, page 309) 

If my friends are squeamish about whole cloves of garlic, I mush the cloves against the side of the pot just before serving. They will flavor and thicken the soup. This is the kind of soup my grandmother would have made if she had been a good cookit can always be thinned with a little water to serve a large crowd.

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium heads garlic, smashed and peeled

8 cups (2 l) Enriched Pork Stock (page 360), Basic Chicken Stock (page 345) or commercial chicken broth

1 pound (450 g) small white beans or dried baby lima beans, soaked according to one of the methods on page 293 and drained

2 links (150 g) chorizo, cut across into thin slices

2 medium bunches broccoli di rape, stems cut off, yellow and wilted leaves discarded, tops and leaves only, and cut across into 1/2 inch (1-cm) pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a medium stockpot, warm the oil over low heat. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns transluscent and soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the stock and beans. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook the chorizo over medium heat, stirring, until it changes color and begins to render its fat, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broccoli di rape a handful at a time and cook until wilted. Continue cooking and stirring until all the rape is bright green, about 4 minutes.

Stir the rape mixture into the beans and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 8 cups (2 l); 6 first-course servings

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