Another Provincetown classic, inspired by the late Howard Mitcham, an unpretentious, brilliant Cape Cod cook and writer whose Provincetown Seafood Cookbook is an out-of-print treasure worth snatching up at any price. Mitcham used white pea beans, better known as navy beans, in his version; I prefer kidney beans.
Serves 8 to 10
1½ cups dried red kidney beans
1 large ham hock or comparable soup bone, cut into pieces to allow the marrow to escape into the broth
3 to 4 quarts Dark Universal Stock
½ pound Portuguese chouriço sausage, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1 pound linguiça sausage, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
2 bunches curly kale, center stem removed and discarded, leaves washed and coarsely chopped
4 large or 5 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
Red pepper flakes to taste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large, heavy-bottom stockpot, soak the kidney beans for 12 hours in plenty of cold water, or cover the dry beans with 4 cups of water and bring to a rapid boil. Cover the pot, remove from the heat, and let sit for 90 minutes undisturbed. Drain.
In a clean stockpot, combine the soaked and/or cooked and drained beans and the ham hock and cover with the stock. Add 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, using a slotted spoon or ladle to skim off and discard any scum that rises to the surface. Add the chouriço, linguiça, and kale, and simmer for another hour. Add the potatoes, pepper flakes, and vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer for at least another hour, adding more stock or water as needed to keep all the ingredients submerged. The longer the soup simmers, the better the flavor; Howard Mitcham calls for a minimum of 5 hours.
Originally published in Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever.