Portuguese Bean Soup

Topics: Recipes, Refuel
Portuguese Bean Soup

Old Portugal meets new in this updated classic Portuguese greens and bean soup. Caldo Verde is a staple, transforming ordinary sweet potato, tomatoes and beans into a deeply flavored meal. Add the balsamic vinegar for an extra sweet/sour note.
Preparation Time:  12 minutes
Cooking Time:  12 minutes
Servings  4
Serving Size:


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced (1/2-inch pieces) unpeeled sweet potato
3 to 4 teaspoons chili garlic paste or chili puree with garlic, such as China Bowl brand
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 or 16 ounces) great northern or cannellini beans, undrained
4 cups packed sliced Swiss chard or collard greens
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)


Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil, then and onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, sweet potato, and chili garlic paste; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and beans; return to a simmer. Stir in Swiss chard. Simmer 5 minutes or until sweet potatoes and chard are tender. Stir in vinegar, if desired and ladle into four serving bowls.


Leftover soup may be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months. The soup may be pureed, simmered until thickened and served as a sauce for cooked whole-wheat pasta or underneath a wild rice pilaf, or on top of a baked potato. Chili garlic paste is an Asian condiment found in the ethnic section of your supermarket. It gives a dynamic flavor to this quick cooking soup.


Diced, peeled butternut or delicata squash may be substituted for the sweet potato. Kale, turnip or beet greens may replace the Swiss chard or collard greens.