Spring season can be difficult as we move into the colder months. We are longing for something warm, rich and filling. This soup, drawing on the simplicity and flavors of Portugese cooking, provides all that plus a bright punch of color and flavor. Quickly prepared on the stovetop, slow cooker or instant pot, this is sure to make its way into your Spring rotation. It can also be made vegan by substituting shitake mushrooms for the sausage pieces.
Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 25 minutes.
Makes: 6 servings.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds jicama peeled, quartered, and sliced thin (can substitute squash or sweet potatoes)
4 cups finely chopped leafy greens (kale, collard or mustard greens)
8 cups broth of choice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (½ lemon or more to taste)
Zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon piri piri seasoning (or smoked paprika) or more to taste
1 pound Mexican (soft) Chorizo or any spiced raw sausage links
1 pound celeriac root, peeled and chopped into small pieces (can substitute with celery)
1/3 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper
This is an ‘everything but the kitchen sink” soup when it comes to vegetables, so you can pretty much add whatever you have in the fridge at the moment. To increase the variety of Spring vegetables I originally made it with celeriac (bright flavor and slight crunch in texture) and jicama (substitute for potatoes, earthy and soft). However, it is also great with celery, zucchini, squash or sweet potato. Feel free to make it your own, just keep the vegetable quantities and sizes consistent. The flavor comes from the piri piri spice mix (mainly sweet and smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and onion powders) and lemon. If you cannot find piri piri without sugar added, make your own or simply used smoked paprika in its place. Start with the recommended ingredients and add more at the end if you like.
To begin, place a 6-quart, heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onions, and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Next add the jicama and celeriac (or substitutes), and piri piri to the pot, stirring for a few minutes to combine and release the oils in the spices. The spices with also fuse with the vegetable pieces, deepening their flavor.
Next add broth, salt (if needed, depending on your broth) and lemon zest, bring soup to boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to soften the jicama.
Cut the sausage links into 6 pieces lengthwise. If you prefer a more refined texture, slice into wedges. I prefer a more rustic look to this soup, so I leave the pieces larger. If you want to reduce the fat in the recipe, cook sausage pieces in a medium frying pan for 3 minutes on each side and drain before adding them to the soup. I prefer to leave the fat in when I am in Spring as it provides more satiety and energy.
Add pieces to soup and simmer 5 minutes. If you are choosing the vegan option, add your soaked and softened mushrooms with the rest of the vegetables in the beginning and simply cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add chopped leafy greens and lemon juice, stirring into the soup. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes, just long enough for the greens to wilt and stems to soften. The other vegetables should break when pierced with a fork, giving the soup a creamy texture.
Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk. Taste, then add more salt and pepper and coconut milk as needed.
Serve hot and enjoy. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 6 months.