Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Good Bye Gourmet Project: Kale Soup Disaster

Last weekend, I set fourth on my Good Bye Gourmet Project by making the November issue's Portuguese kale soup recipe. Sure looks good in the picture above. But don't let appearances fool you. It was tasteless and greasy, borderline gross. It would have been truly disgusting if I had followed the directions to a "T."

I figured this would be a good one, a hearty soup for a bracing late autumn day. It would fortify me for leaf blowing that afternoon (I have enough oak leaves to wall paper a McMansion). In preparation, I bought a bag of organic kale and a stick of chorizo, a spicy Portuguese sausage.

I followed the directions, browning the chorizo in olive oil, removing it and then browning onions and and garlic in the rendered fat and oil. So far so good. The sausage smelled so delicious it got my daughter out of bed. Bacon, she thought. Poor deluded soul.

I added water and potatoes and brought the soup to a simmer. My wife walked up and glanced in the pot.

"Are you going to keep all that grease in there?" she asked.

She was right. A film of grease globs nearly covered the surface. I checked the recipe and confirmed that I was not to drain or skim off the grease. Sorry, Charlie. This is way too greasy. I took up a spoon and began skimming. I soon had a quarter cup of grease in a bowl. How appetizing.

I finished up the dish, mashing some potatoes when they were done, adding kale and returning the chorizo to the pot. Amazing, the recipe calls for another tablespoon of olive oil. I love olive oil, but more of it on top of all of that sausage fat? I'm sorry, but the very idea is gross.

Still, what stared up at me from the pot looked pretty good. I ladled out soup for me and my daughter and we tasted. Bland, bland, bland. Salt helped a little, but not much. Even the chorizo, which tasted great right after I browned it, had lost much of its flavor.

You could try simmering longer before adding the potatoes, but to paraphrase the boys at Mythbusters, this one's busted. A deeply disappointing, borderline disastrous recipe. Interestingly enough, the recipe is not on Gourmet's website. I think someone figured out it sucks.

So the score is: Disaster: 1, Good Eats: 0. On to the next one.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Yeah, I've always found this to be a problem with Gourmet recipes -- way too much fat.

    BTW, what's with the Diet Coke? Come on, you know better! :)

  3. I will get my recipe for Portugese Kale Soup to you. It is delicious.

  4. I do a kale soup with:
    chick peas
    some type of stock & I add a beer to it (usually a nice belgian)
    plenty of spices, as mood dictates