Delicious healthy comfort to start the new year right!
Happy New Year! It’s Nelson here and today we’re sharing with you a dish that’s popular across all of Portugal.
There are many different versions of this soup, but “sopa de legumes” has been a staple of Portuguese home cooking for many years.
In addition to being delicious, this soup is full of vegetables and it’s very healthy. It’s a perfect starter or main course. And if you’re like us it’s a great way to get your veggies before indulging in a main course that may not be as healthy. It’s how we remove guilt from our diet. 🙂
Soup… it’s a big deal!
Don’t believe the internet? Get this… McDonalds Portugal serves two soup varieties every day… and they’re traditional Portuguese soups to boot!
When I was talking to Liz about this, we thought back to our childhood and recalled soup being a part of many of our meals.
I also remember having soup with most lunches while studying away at high school on Faial island in the Azores. My parents had bought me a meal plan and soups were a part of every lunch.
So… soup’s a big deal! It’s good stuff.
How much do I love soup?
One quick search for the word “soup” on our blog, and you’ll find a variety of soup recipes that I’ve added over the past 4 years. I absolutely love soup!
In case you’re getting a craving for a soup other than today’s recipe, here are some of our past soup recipes:
- Quick and Easy Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
- Easy, Quick and Delicious Cream of Broccoli Soup
- Creamy Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup (heirloom)
- Azores Fish Soup / Stew (Caldo de Peixe dos Açores)
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Soup with Fresh Sage
- Azores Holy Ghost Soup – Sopas Do Espírito Santo
- Portuguese Farmer’s Soup (Sopa à Lavrador)
- Quick Blender Tomato and Carrot Soup
- Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Portuguese Collard Greens and Beef Soup
- Potato, Leek and Chouriço Soup
- Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup Recipe
- Portuguese Kale Soup – Caldo Verde
- Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup
A go-to recipe
I’m not sure why I’d never posted a version of this vegetable soup recipe on our blog. It is, after all, such a popular go-to and easy-to-make recipe.
This brilliant idea came to me while sitting at home, binging on Netflix on new year’s day. It was cold outside and Liz and I had just finished having our usual start of the year conversation about this year being the year that we shed some pounds and get more active.
There’s no compromise with this soup, you get lots of health benefits from all the veggies and it really tastes fantastic. It also hits the spot on cold winter days.
Hey, it’s cold outside somewhere… so get your soup on! Start the new year off on a positively delicious note. Make a realistic resolution, and eat well, friends.
Portuguese style vegetable soup (sopa de legumes)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 large leeks, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 4 medium white potatoes, roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut tiny pieces
- 1 medium turnip, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cups squash or pumpkin, roughly chopped
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups baby spinach, washed
- 1 can (540 ml or 19 fl oz) white kidney beans, rinsed
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Extra olive oil for drizzling over each bowl of soup when serving – optional
- Heat the olive oil on medium high in a dutch oven or other large heavy pot.
- Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions start to soften.
- Add the leeks and continue to sauté and stir until the leeks reduce to half the volume.
- Add the potatoes, 2/3 of the carrots, turnip, squash, bay leaf, half the beans, salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat up to high. Once the soup starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Use a hand blender to puree the soup until smooth.
- Add the carrots and remaining beans, cover, and continue to simmer on medium low for 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach, cover and turn off the heat. The spinach will wilt into the soup.
- Leave the pot covered for about 10 minutes.
- Uncover, stir and serve. Add a drizzle of olive oil to elevate the dish a little. Enjoy!
- This recipe is extremely versatile. Feel free to remove vegetables you dislike or add other favourites like broccoli, cauliflower, etc.