Tuesday, March 29, 2011

California Style Portuguese Soup

Californians have a reputation of living a healthy lifestyle. There's an abundance of healthy restaurants, farmer's markets, health food stores and just about every family keeps nutrition in mind when cooking at home. Nearly everyone plays a sport. If they don't, they belong to a gym. The housing track sidewalks are filled with people jogging with their dogs, running with their loved ones or riding bikes. In my town alone, I think there's about 7 or 8 gyms and all of them are packed.

This just goes to show you that people are a product of their environment. California has the best weather, lots of sandy beaches, or gorgeous scenery elsewhere and some of the best produce in the world. I often try to leave California. Sometimes I might even claim that I hate it. However, I am glad that it gave me one of my most favorite characteristics...The will and desire to live healthfully.

That being said, we eat the same foods everyone else does, there's just a lot of substitutions going on. My dinner tonight was a classic example of that. Portuguese Kale Soup (I'm not sure of the actual name) is usually made with kale, cabbage, linguica and potatoes. That sounds healthy enough, doesn't it?
Nope. Not for California. I took out the potatoes, because Hollywood-lovers don't do carbs. Then, I switched the Linguica for Chorizo, because there is a large Mexican influence on our cuisine here. I took it one step further, to do my health-nut friends a solid, and used SOY chorizo. I'm a meat eater...no doubt about it. But, the soy chorizo from Trader Joe's is an exception. It tastes just as good and maybe even better in this soup! I topped it off with Avocado because they are everywhere around here! I mean, everywhere! Plus, we had a run of good weather the last couple weeks and it created some really yummy ones.

For the Soup:
12 oz. soy chorizo (use regular if you please)
1/2 head cabbage
1 bunch kale
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 white onion
About 2 cups of chicken or veg stock
About 3 cups of water
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Heat up a soup pot and add some olive oil. Once it's hot, add the onions and cook until they are transparent. Then, add the chorizo and garlic. Next, add the kale and cabbage. Top it off with the chicken stock and enough water just to cover. Bring it up to a boil. Then, bring the heat down and simmer until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. Season with salt and pepper at the end. Top it off with avocado.

That's it! How simple is that? One cutting board and one pot. Barely any mess and hardly any time! Yeah, it's super duper healthy, but it tastes like it's BAD! I promise ;)

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