Soup is an integral part of Portuguese cuisine. It is the heart of Mediterranean cooking. Simmering the soup on a low heat ensures none of it's vital nutrients get lost.
Here at casa Castro there is always soup in the fridge. My kids love it and have a bowl every single day after school. My youngest has been known to be reduced to tears if there is no soup, lol.
This week, I will try to post two more of my most requested soup recipes. They are perfect for babies too, after you purée them. My soups freeze exceptionaly well, and are perfect for lunch on the go.
I hope you enjoy this classic. Also, my mother would add a few mint leaves to serve along with a drizzle of olive oil. I do not add olive oil during cooking, this ensures it's valuable properties are preserved. Instead, it gets drizzled at the table.
Unlike many Portuguese cooks, I also do not add the raw vegetables to the purée to cook afterwards. I find the pureed soup's flavour is altered when it is simmered too long, as most vegetables will take longer than 10 minutes to cook through in such a thick purée. That said, I will boil them first with plenty of water, drain and use the broth to make the soup.
Adding just enough water to cover the vegetables by 2 fingers, is the perefect water to vegetable ratio for the puree. It is foolproof. If you prefer a thinner consistency, just add more water or stock. Cut potatoes and carrots to the same size so that they cook evenly. Carrots taste funky if they cook too long. Want to make it low carb? Just swap out the regular potatoes for turnips ....still delish. Turnips are root vegetables that have less than a quarter of the carbohydrate of potatoes, and so are great choices for people who follow a low-carb diet
Green Bean Soup ❦ Sopa de Feijão Verde
Time <30 minutes
200 g. Green beans, I used the flat wide variety, but the french style ones are fine too
washed and chopped into small pieces
1 Handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
2 Potatoes, medium sized, peeled and cut into small cubes
6 Carrots, medium sized, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 Onion, large peeled and quartered
1 Garlic clove, peeled and left whole
1000-1500 ml. of vegetable or chicken stock* or water
*If you must use stock cubes, add 1 cube per 500 ml. of water and omit salt
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
1. In a large pot, add chopped green beans with 1000 ml. of stock of choice or water. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cook green beans for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes drain beans and set aside. Reserve broth.
2. Using the same pot add remaining ingredients and reserved broth, making sure vegetables are covered completly by two fingers of broth, if not add a bit of water to make up shortfall.
Cover and cook soup on a medium/ low heat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, insert the point of a knife to check vegetables are soft. If so, turn heat off. If not cook for 5 minutes more and check again.
3. Using an imersion blender, purée soup. Check salt and adjust to taste.
Add reserved chopped green beans and stir through.
4. Ladle into serving bowls and drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into each bowl and stir through. You can add a few mint leaves to serve as well. In the photo above, I cooked some extra carrots cut into julienne and french trimmed green beans to garnish and for picture purpose, you do not have to do this.
Medium potatoes should be this big
Cut vegetables to same size to ensure even cooking
Just enough water or stock to cover vegetables
Add cooked green beans back into soup, stir to heat through before serving