Souperchef Creation | Vegan Caldinho de Feijão

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Souperchef Creation : Vegan Caldinho de Feijão

Brazil is the largest black bean producing country. In 2006, the Food Guide for the Brazilian Population recommended that beans be consumed at least once every day. And so it was. Every Brazilian I met during my trip regardless of ancestry and background told me their staple every day is rice and beans. There are about 195 million people in Brazil, and probably almost as many recipes for making beans (feijão). Every cook has a personal recipe, most likely inherited from a mother, a grandmother, or a helper.

In Recife, in the region of Pernambuco, in Northeast Brazil, I tried caldinho, a very typical soup made from black beans at O Bragantino, an institution for 50 years selling traditional comfort foods with Portuguese origins. I was told that caldinho is not exactly feijoada, although it has a similar black bean base. In caldinho, the black beans are pureed to give a thicker texture. Typically eaten at the beach, one can personalise their caldinho with different types of condiments and toppings such as poached eggs, jerked beef, chives, olives and many others.

Caldinho at O Bragantino

Caldinho at O Bragantino

A feijoada completa or “complete feijoada” is served with rice, chopped greens (usually collards or kale), fresh orange slices, farofa or farinha, and a side dish of peppery sauce. Sides are essential for enhancing the flavour combinations and the finely sliced oranges are meant to aid digestion. It’s a meal fit for any occasion, from small gatherings to festive celebrations. The stew is generally served year-round in restaurants on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and on the weekends when made at home. It is also a requisite dish for a Brazilian feast and other holidays. It is their equivalent of a Sunday roast. But it is celebratory, almost decadent.)

A feijoada completa or “complete feijoada” is served with rice, chopped greens (usually collards or kale), fresh orange slices, farofa or farinha, and a side dish of peppery sauce. Sides are essential for enhancing the flavour combinations and the finely sliced oranges are meant to aid digestion. It’s a meal fit for any occasion, from small gatherings to festive celebrations. The stew is generally served year-round in restaurants on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and on the weekends when made at home. It is also a requisite dish for a Brazilian feast and other holidays. It is their equivalent of a Sunday roast. But it is celebratory, almost decadent.

Inspired by the caldinho I had and wanting to make a vegan feijoada, this version was created. I’m sure I am being completely blasphemous by creating this vegan version! The high calorie count and saturated fats found in the original recipes with the addition of salted pork and jerked beef, challenged me to innovate so we can enjoy the boldness of the flavours sans the calories. In place of the meat, I’ve used tapioca, yam, chayote, sweet potatoes and tomatoes to add a variety of textures. With the addition of cumin and paprika for extra flavour, I am sure you will find The Soup Spoon’s version hearty, tasty and filling! I’ve also added a few special condiments like tempeh (fermented bean cakes) and coriander to make a Brazilian caldinho with a local touch.

Chef Rodrigo with his chefs at Mocoto sampling tempeh (fermented bean cakes ) that I brought from Singapore

Chef Rodrigo with his chefs at Mocoto sampling tempeh (fermented bean cakes ) that I brought from Singapore became an inspiration to add to the vegan soup.

Love love the markets in Brazil. They provided a lot of inspiration for me . Seen here, are chayote used for this vegan soup.

Love love the markets in Brazil. They provided a lot of inspiration for me . Seen here, are chayotes used for this vegan soup.

The markets in Brazil are a plethora of colours. Seen here are sweet potatoes, which inspired me to use this ingredient for Vegan Caldinho

The markets in Brazil are a plethora of colours. Seen here are sweet potatoes, which inspired me to use this ingredient for Vegan Caldinho

Vegan Caldinho de Feijão

Vegan Caldinho de Feijão

Ingredients: Black beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, tapioca, chayote, celery, carrots, garlic, onions, coriander, chillies, paprika, cumin, oranges and mango juice.

Condiment: Chopped coriander, chopped tomatoes, lime wedge, chopped tempeh and a dash of Tabasco sauce (optional).

(Gluten-free / Vegan / Egg-free / Dairy-free)

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