Rustic Anise Soup Portuguese Style
Spicy Portuguese Style with few ingredients. A smart choice … healthy, tasty and economical. This is a great fall and winter soup … Hearty but not calorie heavy. Well, that’s if you share the linguica! And it really gets better the next day. Choose a large anise bulb with stalks and fresh looking fronds. You’ll be using it all. For a little bite add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Serve this with my Rustic Yeast Cornbread. Perfect!
Large Anise bulb, stalks and fronds attached
1-1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Sweet yellow onion-diced
4 White potatoes-peeled and cubed
2 Cloves garlic-minced
1 Pound linguica
6 Cups of water
1/2 Tea strainer pickling spices, about a tablespoon
1 Bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
Wash anise thoroughly. Cut off the stalks at the bulb and set stalks and fronds aside. Slice the bulb into slivers as you would celery. Avoid using the core. Set aside.
Next cut the stalks, these will remain tough during cooking, as you would slice a green onion … small slices. If you don’t want the toughness you can eliminate the stalks. Set aside.
Now cut the fronds across every two inches. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, the slices of anise bulb and the stalks too if you are using stalks. Cook for about 3-4 minutes then add the potatoes. Allow the potatoes to brown slightly, another 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic to the dutch oven vegetables and cook for about an additional two minutes without browning the garlic.
In the meantime, slice the linguica in bite size pieces and cook in a separate skillet to render off some of the fat. You needn’t cook all the way through.
Add the partially cooked linguica to the dutch oven mixture. And cover with water. Add the tea strainer with the pickling spices (or use a spice bag). And add the large bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Now add the cut fronds and cook another 10 minutes. Add more water if needed, just enough to cover ingredients. Add salt and pepper during this cooking. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. I started with a teaspoon of salt and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
When all vegetables are cooked to your liking the soup is ready.