Spanish-Style White Bean, Kale and Chorizo Soup

  • Recipe courtesy Sara Moulton, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Broadway Books, 2002
Total Time:
2 hr 45 min
15 min
Inactive Prep:
2 hr 30 min
6 servings


  • 1/2 pound dried white beans, such as Great Northern, rinsed and picked over
  • 8 1/2 cups chicken stock, (preferably homemade)
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably Turkish
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Spanish chorizo sausages, about 3/4 pound, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 small bunch kale, about 3/4 pound, tough stems removed, washed well, and coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sherry vinegar, to taste


Place the beans in a large pot or soup kettle. Pour in 8 cups of the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the bay leaf and a pinch of salt. Cook, partially covered, stirring often and adjusting the heat to keep it at a slow steady simmer, until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Soak the saffron in the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Add the onion; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the red pepper and the paprika. Cook for 2 minutes longer, then transfer the contents of the skillet to the bean pot. Stir in the saffron with the soaking liquid, the chorizo, and the kale. Bring back to a simmer and cook just until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the vinegar, and serve hot in warmed soup bowls.