Holy Ghost Soup

This recipe comes from the Martha’s Vineyard cookbook by Louise Tate King and Jean Stewart Wexler.

If I ever do try Kale, this will be the recipe that will get me to do it...
(Serves 6-8 portions)

2 lbs marrowbones cut into 3 inch pieces
Vegetable oil (if needed)
3 lbs beef chuck, cut in 1-inch cubes
4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
4 allspice seeds
3 whole cloves garlic
8-10 cups water
3-4 hot Italian sausages sliced ½ inch thick
3-4 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
I lb kale, coarsely shredded
Lots of Portuguese, French or Italian bread

Brown the marrowbones in a heavy 8-quart kettle over moderately high heat until the marrow can be extracted. Reserve the bones. Using the marrow (and a little oil if needed) brown the meat and then the onions. Add salt and pepper to taste, the bay leaf, allspice, and garlic. Return the marrowbones to the kettle and add the water enough to cover all ingredients by at least 2-3 inches. Simmer over low heat, covered until beef is tender, about 2 hours. Add sausage, potatoes and kale and simmer another ½ hour.

Slice the bread into 2-inch chunks; crisp them in a preheated 400F oven for about 10 minutes. Place one or two pieces in each bowl, lay several sprigs fresh mint over the bread and ladle the soup over bread and mint. Serve immediately before bread softens.

NOTE: An Azorean version of kale soup, also popular among the Vineyard Portuguese community, calls for simmering a large shinbone with chopped onions for 2 hours, then adding kale, linguica, potatoes, a can of kidney beans, and sometimes chopped fresh tomatoes and fresh peas. After these have simmered 20 minutes or so, chopped fresh mint is tossed in and simmered briefly. The meat is removed from the shinbone and cut into small pieces before the soup is served. Flavor is improved if it is allowed to mellow a day or two before being eaten.


- NE