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St. John's Club Bean and Kale Soup

The St. John's Athletic Club was a favorite hangout of Emeril Lagasse and his parents. He was inspired to create this kale and bean soup by Ines de Costa, the chef and owner of the club, who makes a great one with red and white dried beans.

slideshow Warming Soup Recipes

  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 1 pound chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick (see Note)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup dried red beans (1/4 pound), soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/2 cup dried navy beans (1/4 pound), soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 pound kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Crusty Portuguese bread, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot. Add the chorizo and onion and cook over high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and parsley and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, water, red and navy beans, bay leaves, thyme and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the beans are tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
  2. Add the potatoes and kale to the stockpot, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Serve the soup in deep bowls with plenty of crusty bread.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Chorizo is the more widely available Spanish version of the sausage known in Portuguese as chouriço.

Suggested Pairing

This rustic, stew-like soup goes best with a juicy, inexpensive red with fresh berry and pepper flavors, from Portugal.

Contributed By Published November 2000

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