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Southwestern Pinto Bean and Kale Soup with Zin

It is hard to believe fall is upon us. This is the time of year to let things simmer and roast away in the oven. Windows are typically open and you can always catch the smell of something good from your neighbors' kitchens wafting through the air. You can be one of those neighbors by creating this amazing soup — warming and full of spice! Best served with a glass of bold flavorful Zinfandel.

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

  • 1 pound of dry pinto beans. Add water to beans to cover by 2 inches and allow to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, large dice
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage, if bought in links remove casings
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Once your beans have soaked, strain them and pick out any debris. Heat olive oil in a large pot until shimmering. Add the onions, carrot and garlic, heating until soft but not browned. Remove and reserve. Add the chorizo to the same pan and cook until brown and crumbly.

Return the vegetables to the browned chorizo and add the bay leaves, beans and chicken stock. Bring the ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer slightly for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Liquid will evaporate, so add water if needed to keep beans covered.

Once the beans are soft and cooked, add the kale, salt and pepper, then simmer for another 10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve with warm bread.

This will certainly get the neighbors' attention on a cool fall day as they walk by your open windows!