A friend offered two Portuguese soup recipes, the first caldo verde and the other was the one I made, caldo duarte. I know that verde means green, but I’m not sure about duarte. I do know that the verde soup was made with potatoes, and I wanted to go instead with the duarte, which used mainly sweet potatoes. In fact, mine used all sweet potatoes. I’ve made a few more modifications to the original, using bresaola instead of chorizo, and I also used baby spinach instead of the collard greens that the original recipe calls for. But a delicious soup, nonetheless. Enjoy!
Caldo duarte soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces sliced bresaola, cut into slivers
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into slices 1/4″ thick
6 cups broth
2 cups water
freshly ground pepper to taste
10 ounces fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
(Note – I did not add salt to this soup, as the breasole is salted meat. Check flavors before salting)
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over moderately low heat. Add onions and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes, until glassy. Add sweet potatoes and cook, stirring now and then, about 15 minutes or until nicely glazed.
Add broth, water, and pepper, bring quickly to a boil, then adjust heat so liquid barely bubbles. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft – about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes right in the pot – they should be lumpy, not smooth. Add the bresaola to the pot, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach, cover and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes more. Adjust seasoning as needed. Makes 8 servings.