Portuguese Sausage and Vegetable Soup


I have always loved “soup meals” during the colder months (although this year you could hardly have called October or now November cold months).  This morning I went out to walk the dog,


felt the nip in the air, came in and immediately went to the kitchen to make soup.

A soup meal is more than just a bowl of soup.  It’s soup laced with enough protein, starch, and vegetables that you don’t need anything more to make a complete meal…well, in the BP (before Paleo) days I would have added some crispy bread to the menu.  The reasons that I love soup meals are many:

It can be made in large batches and freezes well so you can alway have an easy/quick meal on hand

Easy clean-up:  In addition to being a one spoon, one bowl meal, it’s usually also a one pot meal.

If you have a crock pot/slow cooker (and know how to use it) it can be prepared in the morning and then is ready by dinner

I started cooking soup meals when my dad was on Chemo.  His taste buds and appetite had changed; food no longer interested him and he was just getting thinner and thinner.  He was, however, willing to eat soup – so I would “hide” lots of small pieces of meat or chicken and some kind of starch (rice or barley or potatoes) in my soups and he would eat the whole thing.  If you have a friend or loved one who is having a hard time eating, try a soup meal and see if it does the trick.

I adapted this soup from a recipe I wrote for “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” – obviously there was no sausage or ham in that recipe, but I remember loving the combination of cabbage, greens, and potatoes.  I used hot Italian sausages but I will warn you that the soup is pretty spicy – you may want to use sweet Italian sausages or some combination of the two (I’ve made this sometimes using turkey sausage and sometimes pork), but you can also use cooked sausages like Kielbassa or maybe even frankfurters or cured meats like corned beef or tongue (though I honestly haven’t tried any of those yet).

In any case…look for more soup meals in the near future.

Portuguese Sausage and Vegetable Soup


You can vary this soup by using any kind of greens instead of the collards (escarole is especially good), or you can use other vegetables instead of or in addition to the green beans.  I’ve been know to use cauliflower, turnips, carrots, and zucchini or, let’s be honest, anything I have in the refrigerator that needs using.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 to 1 pound sausage or ham, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch rounds or coarsely chopped

4 cups broth

2 cups water

2 cups shredded collard greens

1 cup potato chevrons (sliced and quartered into the shape of pie slices)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, optional

1 cup cut green beans

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt to taste

In a 4-quart pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cabbage, leek, and garlic; cook stirring occasionally until the onions are softened.


Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink.



Add the broth and water; bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, collards, bay leaf, oregano, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf.



Add the green beans. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Stir in lemon juice and salt to taste


Makes: 7 to 8 cups                      Serves: 2 to 3 soup meals  or 6 to 8 servings of soup



  1. This reminds me of the Chinese variation: starchy potatoes replaced by rice or mung bean transparent vermicelli, chicken/ shrimp/ pork, sliced in thin strips, and maybe fresh cilantro leaves and a dash of toasted sesame seed oil at the end.
    PS. Question re cut of potatoes, chevrons – is that traditional in some cuisine, what are the advantages over cubes?

  2. I can attest to your soup’s total yumminess. I will definitely make it, and if the Philistines I live with won’t eat it, I’ll eat the whole thing.

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