Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In Search of a Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe

When I was little it was a rare treat to get my grandma to make Portuguese Bean Soup. The recipe calls for ham hocks, and she hardly had them on hand. The other option was to wait around for February and the annual Punahou Carnival, which was a place to buy steaming hot, Portuguese Bean Soup. Now that I live in the mainland, it's even harder to come by one of my favorite Hawaii foods. Thank goodness I am comfortable in the kitchen and can make my own soup. I just wish I could find a recipe I like.

This was second try at making my own Portuguese Bean Soup, and this time I found a recipe online. I did change a couple of things because I don't care for mushy beans and noodles, and potatoes melt as they cook. Supposedly this is the recipe used at the Punahou Carnival, but it doesn't taste quite right. Don't get me wrong, it does the job, but it's just not what I remember.

If anyone has any recipes to share or ideas on how to make this one better, please share. I think perhaps it's missing a bay leaf and celery.

Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe
as found on recipezaar

1-2 lb. ham hock or ham bone
2 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 large potatoes, cubed
3 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
1 lb. Portuguese sausage (outside of Hawaii, it's known as linguica)
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium head of cabbage, cubed (it sounds like a lot, but this is the right amount)

Boil the ham hocks or ham bone in 2 quarts of water until tender, about 1 hour. Save the stock and cut the meat from the bones.

Bring ham stock to a boil and add the cut meat and all the remaining ingredients except the cabbage.*

Simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring frequently. If too thick, add a little water.

Add the cabbage, cook another hour until tender.*

Salt and pepper to taste.

*Fry the diced pieces of Portuguese sausage before adding to the ham stock to cut-down on the amount of oil in the soup. Add all ingredients except kidney beans, potatoes, macaroni and cabbage.
**About 30 minutes after adding the cabbage, add the beans and potatoes. About 50 minutes after adding the cabbage (20 minutes after adding beans and potatoes) add the elbow macaroni.

I just found an actual recipe from the Star Bulletin (the recipezaar site cites the Star Bulletin. Check it out because the recipe is a little different; including the use of celery!

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