Sopa de Feijão — Portuguese White Bean Soup
Now that the weather is turning colder and our thoughts are turning to hearty red wine, there’s nothing much better on a cold night than bean soup. Here’s a fresh take on a classic Portuguese bean soup that will pair well with any of our red wines.
1 small yellow onion, in small dice
1 small carrot, in small dice
1 stalk celery, in small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, ground
2 15.5-ounce cans white beans, drained
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 5- to 6-ounce stick linguiça, quartered and diced
1 yellow potato, in medium dice
2 collard leaves, destemmed, rolled, and finely slivered
Over high flame, heat a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to make a pot of soup. Film it with olive oil and cook the vegetables, garlic, bay leaves, and fennel seed until the onions start to go translucent, about five minutes. Add the white beans and chicken stock and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Remove the bay leaves and smooth the soup with an immersion blender (or blend it in a blender and return it to the pot). Thin the soup as necessary with more stock or water and season to taste.
For the garnish, film a sauté pan with a little olive oil and cook the linguiça. Remove the linguiça from the pan and cook the potato in the linguiça oil, browning nicely. Pour off some of the colored oil for garnish, then add the linguica, potato, and collards to the soup and simmer until the collards are bright green and just done. Portion into soup bowls and drizzle with the reserved linguiça oil. Serves four as an appetizer or two as a main course with crusty bread.