Healthy Meal: Portuguese Sausage and Greens Soup

For this weight loss challenge to work, I can’t just exercise; I need to make sure I’m eating healthy as well or all those hours spent in the gym will be for naught. I’m trying to stick to a mostly low-carb diet (I’m still eating plenty of fruits and veggies, but avoiding potatoes, grains, etc). For lunch, I pulled up my Food Network Recipe Box and found a soup recipe I had saved in November 2007 (yeah, I’m about as caught up on my Recipe Box as I am on my Google Reader).

Having neither chourico or kale, I substituted Trader Joe’s Italian Chicken Sausage and some collard greens that have been in my fridge forever. I also cut the potatoes, primarily because I didn’t want the starchy carbs but also because I didn’t have any in my fridge and was too lazy to go to the store.

Therefore, with the substitions the recipe goes like this (proportions are for one serving):
Lightly spray a pot with olive oil (I use my Misto for this) and heat, then add 1/4 white onion (diced). Once the onion browns, add a few cloves of minced garlic, two bay leaves, 3 cups of chopped greens, and a cup of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans). Cook this for a few minutes, stirring as the greens wilt down, then add 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1 cup broth (I use a cup of water + 1 tsp Herb Ox Sodium Free Chicken Broth powder). As this heats up, dice one link of chicken sausage and add it. Sprinkle the pot with a bit of black pepper, then stir and let simmer for about ten minutes.

Nutrition stats:
443 calories for one bowl (original recipe here, my proportions above)

Review: 4/5 stars
This came out pretty salty, which really surprised me given the fact that I used sodium-free broth and no-salt added tomatoes, and I didn’t add any salt of my own. A look at the nutrition facts for the chicken sausage reveals that one link has 450mg sodium (19% of your RDA), but the soup was still saltier than just that. It wasn’t salty in a bad way, but I’m a little confused as to where the saltiness came from, as not wanting extra sodium is a big reason that I typically make food myself instead of eating out.
However, the flavors were really delicious together – the tomatoes provided a sweet tanginess, and it contrasted nicely with the spicy and salty sausage. The collard greens and garbanzos made the soup really filling, especially for a broth based soup, though the garbanzos did make the calorie count a bit higher than I anticipated. I’ll definitely be making this again.


  1. This looks yummy and so filling! Maybe the salty taste comes from the sodium free broth? Sometimes, even though there’s no or low sodium in it, they can still be quite salty tasting.

  2. Definitely interesting on the salty taste. But at least overall, it tasted good!

  3. I am for sure keeping this one! Sounds delicious and nutritious…but I might keep the potatoes in it, as long as I have them around that is :)

  4. Wow, that sounds really good! And that’s strange about the salt. Maybe you’ve just done such a good job of cutting down on sodium that you’re more sensitive to really small amounts?

  5. I LOVE chickpeas! Nice work, Emeril.

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