Nutrition and flavour is packed into this Caldo Verde soup by using sweet potatoes instead of the usual white potatoes in this remake of the traditional Portuguese classic. The sweet potato is a powerhouse of vitamins and antioxidant. The colorful soup is a bright option that is especially comforting on a frosty winter day.
Home style Caldo Verde, unlike the restaurant style, is usually not pureed and a variety of seasonal vegetables are added to the soup base depending on availability. Feel free to do the same and substitute chopped kale or cabbage for the collards. Kidney beans are also added to the soup to boost the nutrition and fibre of this delicious dish.
To shred the collards: wash the leaves and trim the rough ends. Stack a few leaves and roll into a large cigar shape. Using a sharp knife, slice as thinly as possible. Any unused collards can be frozen for later use.
*Vegetarians, omit the chourico, but make sure you add a dash of smoked paprika for a flavour dash of the sausage flavour without the meat.
Sweet Potato Caldo Verde
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz(240 g) chourico sausage
- 1 1/2 lb (about 2) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 8 cups (2 L) chicken stock
- 2 tsp (10 mL) fine salt
- 4 cups (1 L) water
- 2 cups (500 mL) finely shredded collard greens
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil. Cook the onion and garlic until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the chourico and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until the chourico begins to brown. Add the diced sweet potatoes and cook for about 2 minutes, until well coated with oil. Add the stock and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with fork.
- In a separate saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, and the collard greens. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until bright green and tender. Drain the greens and transfer them to a large serving bowl. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
- When the potato mixture is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the chourico; slice it thinly and reserve. If pureeing soup, transfer the potato mixture to a food processor or blender and puree it in batches until smooth. Pour the puree over the prepared collard greens and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, if necessary.To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a few slivers of chourico, some kidney beans and about 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil and drizzled over top.
** If not pureeing the soup, add the collards, chourico and kidney beans to the soup base before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, if necessary. To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with a few drops of olive oil.