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Spicy Kale, Chorizo and Squash Soup

October 13, 2009


It’s getting cold here. They’re predicting snow flurries tonight!

And I’m not complaining. A lot of people bemoan the return of cold weather, but honestly, I don’t know why you’d choose to live in upstate New York if you didn’t like at least some measure of cold, frosty weather — it’s hard to escape it here. I relish it: I love the cold snap to the air in the mornings when I go out to take a walk, the shock of the chill searing through my nose as I take my first deep breath. I love the smell of a wood-burning stove wafting through the chill, mixed with the pungent, sweet aroma of fallen leaves. I love donning a scarf and maybe a light hat to go outside, and replacing the brighter colors of my summer wardrobe with the jewel tones of my fall clothes — deep turquoise, eggplant, chocolate, rust, emerald. I love sleeping under layers upon layers of puffy blankets, ensconced in my warm cocoon as my nose chills in the cooler air of the house overnight. I love wrapping my hands around a steaming mug of hot chocolate, or tea, or coffee…or, equally so, a big bowl of steaming hot soup.


In fact, soup is probably one of my very, very favorite parts of this time of year. I’ve been in a soup-making frenzy lately, making extra big batches so that I can freeze a little extra in our (shiny! new!) chest freezer in preparation for those sleep-deprived days coming in December and January, when our lives will revolve around our little newborn. We’ve had multiple batches of chili, roasted squash & fennel soup, lentil soup with greens, minestrone, pinto & black bean stew…and most recently, this spicy kale, chorizo and squash soup.





It was actually a great way to use a number of ingredients we’d recently received in our CSA share — red kuri squash, onions, and garlic — along with dinosaur kale that I’d picked up at the Farmer’s Market and chorizo from The Piggery. The soup is a variation on the Portuguese soup caldo verde, which is traditionally made with potatoes, kale, onions and chorizo. I substituted the winter squash for the potatoes, adding a mildly sweet note to counteract the spiciness of the chorizo. It’s a warming bowl, inside and out.


Since I’m in soup-making mode and trying to stockpile a bunch before December, I’d love to know — what’s your favorite soup recipe (and would you care to share a link?) 🙂



Spicy Kale, Chorizo and Squash Soup

Adapted from Bon Appetit

view printable recipe

This soup is fantastic served with some crusty bread alongside.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 ounces chorizo sausage, casing removed (if you’re using fully cooked chorizo, dice it before adding it to the soup)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 pounds winter squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (Butternut, Red Kuri or Buttercup are good varieties to use)
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds kale, stemmed, torn and chopped into small pieces or ribbons (about 2 small to medium bunches)

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large, heavy pot. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the chorizo and the smoked paprika; cook until the chorizo is no longer pink (if using raw chorizo – if using fully cooked chorizo, just cook 1-2 minutes until the paprika is toasted.)

Add the cubes of winter squash, the chicken broth, and the kale. Stir until the kale wilts down a little into the soup, and bring the soup to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for about 30 minutes, until the squash and kale is tender. Taste and add salt and pepper according to your taste.

Serves 6.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2009 8:02 pm

    Sounds perfect for this fall weather! I love a good soup…especially when you have a big freezer to store extra batches in.

    This soup really sounds great!

  2. October 13, 2009 8:25 pm

    Amy, you got all the things about fall-slipping-into-winter that I love so much (especially that wood-burning smell on a nice, crisp walk). Glad you’re enjoying the season. As for soups I’d add to your list (though it sounds like you’ve got a delicious start already!), both of these freeze well:

    Happy freezer stocking!

    • October 14, 2009 6:57 am

      Thanks Kristin! Both those soups look so delicious – I love a good tomato soup and these are both going on the list to try.

  3. October 13, 2009 8:33 pm

    This looks lovely! I might have to make this for dinner soon! Yum!

  4. October 14, 2009 6:54 am

    I firmly believe that chorizo makes everything better. Soups and stews are my favorite during winter as well – here in WI it’s already flurried, but nothing has stuck yet. I’m still mainlining soup and tea because of it though! Favorite soup or stew though has to be either the beef carbonnade or the pork and fruit ragout from the Silver Palate cookbook. LOVE that cookbook!

    • October 14, 2009 6:58 am

      Hi Caitlin – I am so with you on chorizo making everything better. I can’t get enough of it lately! Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. October 14, 2009 7:13 am

    Hi Amy! The soup looks wonderful and I’m always looking for new ways to use kale!! I’m enjoying the cooler weather as well – I love breaking my sweaters out of the back of the closet!!

    • October 14, 2009 7:25 am

      Hi Sue! I have to tell you, that squash and fennel soup you posted last year remains one of my very favorite soups — it’s so delicious!!

  6. October 14, 2009 9:25 am

    So much delicious soup. The flavor combo is similar to another soup I make with squash and keilbasa that is absolutely amazing. One of my absolute favorites is the sweet pepper coconut corn chowder out of Extraveganza. It sounds like it would be a too sweet but it’s actually marvalously well balanced and so good. I brought it to a soup party in February and it got rave reviews. It’s one of those recipes that appeals to both vegetarians and omnis alike.

    • October 14, 2009 3:39 pm

      That sounds great, Kelly – I love coconut milk in just about anything. 🙂

  7. October 14, 2009 12:02 pm

    What a tasty sounding – and healthy! – winter treat!

  8. October 14, 2009 2:00 pm

    I miss winter. You described it exactly how I remember it. Today it was 77º when I left my house at 6 am. It was 94% humidity. The high is going to be 92º. I reeeaaalllly miss winter. Your soup looks amazing.

  9. laura permalink
    October 14, 2009 3:20 pm

    hey amy! long-time reader, first-time poster — i love making this really simple carrot soup when the weather starts getting cold…

    Carrot Soup

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small onion, diced
    1 1/3 lbs. carrots, chopped
    1 medium potato, cut into cubes
    4 cups vegetable stock
    Pinch sugar
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Heat olive oil in a heavy pot. Add onion, potato and carrots. Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add stock and sugar. Bring to a boil; then simmer 30 minutes. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade or a blender, or with a stick blender, process mixture to a puree. Return puree to pot. Season with salt and pepper.

    The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of half and half to be stirred in and then gently reheated, but I don’t think it needs it! Though I do think it would be great topped off with a little creme fraiche…

    • October 14, 2009 3:39 pm

      Thanks for your comment Laura, and for the recipe – sounds simple and delicious!

  10. October 14, 2009 7:08 pm

    Yum, that is a soup full of amazing things! I actually just made a soup tonight, spicy carrot and potato with chimichurri. I made it up as I went, so I’ll have to write down the recipe soon.

  11. Jean permalink
    October 14, 2009 8:34 pm

    Thank you for posting such a delicious-sounding recipe – your soup is right up my alley!

    It seems somewhat similar to one of my all-time favorites, which I got from the Simply Recipes site:

    It is intensely flavorful, rich and smoky and full of nutrients. To simplify things I roast the vegetables and finish the soup in one pot, my Le Creuset dutch oven, and instead of bothering with the big blender I just use my immersion blender. When I don’t have fresh tomatoes I use a can of Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes (added after the other vegetables have roasted), and I also put in an entire head of garlic and dried red pepper flakes (but that’s just me because I like things spicy).

    I do hope you enjoy it, because I know I will enjoy yours! Thanks again!

    • October 15, 2009 9:55 am

      Sounds great, Jean – thanks for the recommendation! Love all the garlic in it!

  12. Betsy permalink
    October 14, 2009 10:42 pm

    I love your description of wintry things that you love – I found it to be very poetic and it’s helping me to get excited for the colder weather too!

    This bowl of soup looks lovely! One of my favorites that I’ve been making a lot lately is a sausage, white bean, and spinach soup recipe from cooking light. I like to add poached chicken to the mix or swap out different hardy greens for the spinach, and organic pepperoni for the sausage. I don’t like handling raw poultry, so I am a big fan of poaching it in the soup, and I just cut it up once it’s cooked through and add it back in to finish – so easy!

    Here is one link to the recipe:

    • October 15, 2009 9:56 am

      That sounds great! I love all kinds of white bean soup…thanks for the link!

  13. woods4 permalink
    October 15, 2009 6:09 am

    I don’t think I would have ever thought to throw those flavours together but it sounds (and looks) great. its getting cold here too! I don’t like it! Fall is here. Speaking of, thats a great picture of carrots on your header

  14. Amanda permalink
    October 15, 2009 9:46 am

    Amy: This is a delicious soup:

    Question (if you don’t mind): What sort of storage containers do you use to store soup in the freezer? I am particularly looking for something that is food safe.

    Thanks! -Amanda

    • October 15, 2009 9:58 am

      Hi Amanda – that lentil soup is a favorite of my Mom and Dad’s; they make it all the time! 🙂

      I use Pyrex glass storage containers. They freeze well, and reheat in the microwave well (I heat just the glass container without the plastic top, stirring a few times during heating.) I’m all about glass now; we don’t use any plastic storage containers anymore after I began reading about chemicals that can leach into food from the plastic. And the pyrex are durable!! You can get them at Target or, I’ve ordered a bunch online from the Pyrex site, too. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes; I mainly use the rectangular size (various capacities) since they stack well.

  15. October 15, 2009 10:44 am

    Wow this looks delicious! I need some new Kale recipes and I love Chorizo! Can’t wait to try this!

    I’m so happy I found your site. I can’t wait to read through it!

  16. October 15, 2009 8:22 pm

    I hear you on the soup-making frenzy. When you’re truly in the mood for soup, nothing else will do. This one looks beautiful!

  17. October 16, 2009 4:23 pm

    Amy, haven’t been to your blog lately. Lots of missed posts to catch up with! Your soup looks lovely. All the right ingredients. Healthy!

  18. October 16, 2009 9:03 pm

    What a great, hearty soup for a rainy fall day like today.

    Enjoying your blog!

  19. Jessica permalink
    October 28, 2009 4:31 pm

    I love your recipes (and corresponding photos) and would like to share one that I just tried for a dinner party. Everyone enjoyed it, and the leftovers were fantastic!

    Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk
    • 3 medium sweet potatoes
    • 4 Tbsp of olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp of garam masala
    • 1 tsp of curry powder
    • 1 tsp of ginger
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 cup of coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup of water
    • Optional: fresh crusty bread for dipping
    • Serves 4
    1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). Slice the sweet potatoes into 2 inch rounds. Place potatoes in a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with a little salt. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery and fry, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
    3. Add garam masala, ginger and curry powder. Fry, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 30 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
    4. Scoop flesh out of sweet potatoes and discard the skins. Place potatoes into the saucepan and stir well to coat in spices. Add stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Simmer soup for 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat and cool.
    5. Ladle soup into a blender or food processor and blend in batches until smooth and creamy. Place soup back into saucepan on a medium heat.
    6. Add coconut milk and water and stir well to combine. Simmer soup over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

    Happy soup-making!

  20. November 8, 2009 6:36 am

    Your site is really fabulous. I run a CSA/Farm share in central Vermont and many weeks I browse your site for ideas to share with our members about great ways to enjoy our seasonal offerings. Your recipes, stories and PHOTOS are really outstanding. Thanks for sharing. I send our members to your site often, including for this soup recipe — instead of chorizo I suggested using our pork sausage which was part of their share this week. Not as spicy, but local and on offer. Thanks.


    • November 8, 2009 9:11 am

      Hi Laura – great to hear from you, and I’m so glad you and your CSA members have found useful recipes on the site! That really makes my day! 🙂

  21. March 2, 2010 2:45 pm

    This is a great website – I was trying to find a decent recipe and the pictures are also helpful, thanks


  1. Butternut Squash Recipes « Beneficial Farms CSA

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