This soup is so hearty and satisfying and perfect for winter—and the flavors balance delightfully. I'm sure other cultures have some variation of this soup, but I'm most familiar with the Portuguese caldo verde with chouriço. From the recipes I've seen, it seems that the sausage, kale, potatoes, and tomatoes are the key ingredients. The rest of the vegetables I filled in from what I had in the house, and you could do the same—so in other words, the carrots, green beans, and celery aren't essential to this recipe. I could see them being swapped out for, say, green peppers and beets—or left out in favor of more kale and tomatoes. For the sausage, if you don't live somewhere it's easy to get Portuguese-style sausage, Spanish chorizo is similar and usually easy to find in most places.
SAUSAGE POTATO SOUP
4 tsp olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 lb green beans (I use frozen pre-chopped for convenience)
1 lb chouriço or sausage of your choice, sliced
1 tsp herbs de Provence
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
5 c chicken broth
4 small new potatoes (2 c total), roughly chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/2 c sunflower seed kernels (raw if possible, otherwise roasted and unsalted)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and green beans. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add sausage and herbs. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add tomatoes, broth, potatoes, kale, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes (potatoes should be tender). Spoon into four bowls and divide sunflower seeds (2 Tbsp per serving) to sprinkle on top.
Makes 4 servings. Container counts per serving: 2 green, 1 red*, 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 teaspoon.