This is a vegetarian interpretation of the Portuguese classic--surprisingly flavorful even without the chorizo, and in spite of the humble list of ingredients. The potatoes add a creamy comfort that's welcome on a chilly fall evening. Here in Northern California there are still a few small, overripe tomatoes lingering on the withered garden vines, and they add a pop of color and burst of sweetness and acidity to the bowl. If you aren't lucky enough to find a decent tomato in your garden in early November, try a few hothouse cherry tomatoes instead. —Ann S
large onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced
Extra large Yukon gold potatoes, or 5 smaller ones, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
5 1/2 or more cups
flavorful broth or water (add a bit more if you like a brothier soup)
collard greens, stem removed and leaves cut into thin ribbons
Warm a tablespoon or two of oil in a large soup pot. Add onion and cook until soft, then add garlic and cook for one minute. Do not let the garlic brown.
Add potatoes and broth/water, along with the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 20 or so minutes.
Remove bay leaves and discard. Ladle 2 or 3 cups of potato cubes from the pot, into a heat-proof bowl. Blend the soup remaining in the pot with an immersion blender until the broth is smooth and creamy with rough chunks of potato here and there. You can use a food processor instead of the immersion blender, but do not over process. Add potato cubes back into the pot.
Bring soup back to a gentle simmer and add the greens and tomatoes, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt or more (depending on whether you are using water, or the saltiness of your broth). Taste the soup to decide how much salt to add. Cook until greens are wilted and tomatoes are barely soft, about 2 - 4 minutes.