Mariam's Portuguese Bean Soup

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Mariam's Portuguese Bean Soup

From A Taste of Aloha and revised by Mariam Bacon

Portuguese Bean Soup is a staple Hawaiian dish, a hearty, spicy sausage and ham soup with kidney beans and other vegetables.

2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained
2 ham hocks (or a ham bone with some meat still on it)
2 pounds Portuguese sausage (also called Linguiça), cut in half-inch slices
8 oz tomato sauce
2 large baking potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (optional)
4 or 5 carrots, sliced or coarsely diced
3 onions, coarsely diced - one for stock, two for soup
4 stalks celery, sliced - one for stock, three for soup
1 bay leaf for stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (optional)
1/2 cup macaroni (optional)
salt, pepper, and allspice to taste

You probably want to make the stock a day in advance - it has to cool so you can get the meat off the bone and separate the fat.

In a large stock pan, cover ham hocks or ham bone in water. Add the onion, celery, and bay leaf noted as "for stock" above. Boil, then reduce heat, cook for about 90 minutes. Remove the ham hocks, then let everything cool. Shred the meat off the bones, discard the bones and fat. Skim and discard the fat from the stock. (This is easiest if you put the stock it in the refrigerator overnight.) After skimming the fat, strain the stock and discard the solids. Now the stock is finished.

To make the soup, slice, sauté, and drain the sausage. Alternatively, slice the sausage and microwave the slices in a single layer between paper towels for a minute or two. Blot up the fat: idea is to sweat some of it out.

Add the sausage and the shredded ham to the stock pot, cook 10 minutes. (Warm the stock up first if it's cold.) Add the tomato sauce, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and lemon juice. Cook some, add potatoes, cook until tender.

At this point, the soup can be kept hot or cooled and stored if desired. (If you are going to freeze the soup, don't use potatoes: they will disintegrate after about 20 minutes of cooking, and they don't freeze and re-heat well.)

To finish: re-heat the soup if necessary, then drain the beans and add them. Add the cabbage, macaroni, salt, pepper, and allspice. Cook about ten minutes and serve.

Serves 10.


This page was last edited April 26, 2008.