30 MINUTES OR LESSPutting an American spin on the Portuguese soup Caldo Verde, this version calls for a dash of flavor-boosting crushed red peppers. The meatless sausage substitutes for the traditional Portuguese chouriço sausage. For another level of flavor, start off with vegetable stock instead of water. The best accompaniments for this entrée soup: hot onion or garlic bread and plenty of strong, black coffee. Stewed fruit sparked with cinnamon or a smooth flan would make a fitting conclusion. This recipe serves four generously for a main meal, or six or more as an appetizer.
Bring water and ale to a boil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add potato cubes and onions.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and brown garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low, add crumbled sausage and sauté about 7 minutes, or until browned. Or cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, when potatoes are partially tender, add kale and lentils, stirring well. Season with crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
When sausage is browned, stir into soup. Cook 5 minutes more and serve hot.
Successful food and drink pairings can be strengthened by incorporating the drinking beverage into the cooking process. In other words, drink what you cook with. Following the recipe, a flavorful ale is called for, so try the Mendocino Brewing Company Red Tail Ale.