Some traditions happen by accident. You do something once. It goes well. You do it again for years. In my family, creating traditions doesn’t require much: maybe a particular outing, like our annual trip to Boston’s Symphony Hall in the fall. Perhaps a certain meal, like our Christmas fondue with a huge ensemble of roasted dippers. Or in this case, a late afternoon hang with soup and jazz bubbling away in the background.
Brenna, my sister and confidante, and her boyfriend, Jake, saw a need for a new culinary tradition: a healthy and tasty meal that would feed them multiple times throughout the week. Working professionals at Boston College and Boston University, respectively, they’re busy folks who like to cook well and eat well.
Thus a new tradition began just last October, as colder weather and a craving for minestrone hit. Cooking in silence not being an option, these amateur music supervisors chose a delightful collection of jazz as their soundtrack. They call it Soup Jazz Sunday, and this week I was lucky enough to participate. (See a slideshow of the whole process below!)
Brenna and Jake share the belief that jazz is the perfect accompaniment to cooking. “It goes well with wine, too,” they assure me, sipping a red blend while the soup simmers. Jake leans toward Miles Davis or Horace Silver tracks, while Brenna favors the First Lady of Song herself, Ella Fitzgerald. And neither of them can turn down the Bird, Charlie Parker.
Last Sunday’s soup, Portuguese kale and sausage, happens to be the couple’s favorite, and they are thrilled to share it, and their soundtrack, with HOMEGROWN!
RECIPE: PORTUGUESE KALE AND SAUSAGE SOUP
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
» 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock
» 1 large onion, chopped
» 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
» olive oil
» 2 medium potatoes, cut into cubes
» 1 bunch kale (about 10 oz), cut into pieces
» 1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
» 1 can cannellini beans
» 1 can diced tomatoes
» 1 package (12.8 oz) spicy sausage*, cubed (We use Andouille chicken sausage or chorizo.)
» salt and pepper to taste
*You can make this soup vegetarian friendly (for people like me!) by omitting the sausage and using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. I added some red pepper flakes to give my bowl the little kick that a spicy sausage would do.
WHAT TO DO
Heat up approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and cubed potatoes. Cook until the onions become translucent and the potatoes begin to soften. Add the chopped garlic, green beans, and kale, and cook until the kale begins to wilt. Add the diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, and vegetable stock. Bring the whole thing to a boil and add the sausage* then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
*Vegetarians! Transfer your portion of soup to a smaller pot to finish cooking sans sausage.
We served our soup with warm, crusty bread and more jazz. Check out our Spotify playlist and more photos below. Enjoy!