July 11, 2016
Comfort Food, Main Dish, Soups/Stews,
Beef, Beef Sausage, Pork, Ribs, Vegetables, Fennel, Portuguese, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Stove Top, Gluten-Free, No Eggs, Non-Dairy more
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"Sopa de Funcho is unbelievably healthy and hearty and utilizes various simple vegetables and other ingredients to make a wonderful soup. In the Azores, the fennel is different than what we find in our stateside grocery stores - there is no bulb - but rather mostly the whispy fronds. Recipe from Ana Ortins' "Portuguese Homestyle Cooking". TIME DOES NOT INCLUDE OVERNIGHT SOAKING."
Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Rub the ribs with 2 tablespoons coarse salt and chill overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside.
Wipe any excess salt from the ribs (or pig’s feet) and place in a 4-quart stock pot with the beans and water. Cover, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender and the beans are easily mashed (about 1 hour). Occasionally skim the surface of any impurities.
Meanwhile, trim and discard coarse stems from the fine feathery fennel leaves. Finely chop enough leaves to yield 2 cups. (If you are using fennel bulbs, discard the outer layer. Separate sections of the bulbs, rinse well, and coarsely chop.) Set fennel aside.
Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, cloves, and black pepper to the pot. Simmer 5 minutes, then toss in the fennel leaves, and chopped bulb if using, along with the cabbage, potatoes, scallions, olive oil, and sausage. Return the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to simmer until the potatoes are done and the cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.
Usually this soup needs no additional salt, but taste and season to your preference. Serve with good crusty bread.
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