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Portuguese Bean Soup

Portuguese Bean Soup (Sopa de Feijao) is another Hawaii favorite that can often be found at local eateries as the soup of the day or as a regular menu item. This is comfort food at its best.

With the surplus of leftover Portuguese Sausage I had in the refrigerator from the recent “Portuguese Sausage Shootout“, instead of freezing the remaining uncooked sausage, I took this opportunity to use it all up and make this dish.

The following recipe is my rendition, with references from Auntie Lynn and Reid over at Ono ‘Kine Grindz. Mahalo!

Portuguese Bean Soup
Portuguese Bean Soup, with a spoonful of tender Portuguese Sausage, kidney beans, carrot, potato and macaroni. Yum!

Portuguese Bean Soup
Serves approx. 10-12

Ingredients:
3 Smoked Ham Hocks (these are usually available in the meat freezer section. Make sure they’re SMOKED)
1 Large Portuguese Sausage (any brand), cut into bite-size pieces (I used MUCH more than 1 for this batch, since that’s how much I had)
1 bag of dry kidney beans
1-2 cups (uncooked) macaroni (add more or less at your discretion)
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 white round onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (save some extra unchopped for garnish)
2 bay leaves
1 six oz. can Tomato Paste (this will help to slightly thicken it)
1 fourteen oz. can Stewed Tomatoes
1 fourteen oz. can chicken stock
Salt and Pepper
Water
5 quart (or larger) pot or dutch oven
*Options: You can also add chopped celery and/or cabbage. I didn’t because there was no room for it. You can also substitute canned Kidney Beans for the uncooked type used here.

The most important part of this soup is the ham hock soup stock base it’s started with. This provides the dish with its “porky”, slightly smoky signature.

Ham Hocks & Cilantro
Ham Hocks & Cilantro (Chinese Parlsey)

Begin by placing the 3 ham hocks, 1 bay leaf and the chopped cilantro in the pot, then add the can of chicken stock and just just enough water to cover the ham hocks. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for approximately 2-1/2 hours, covered to prevent evaporation. Note that this is a stock-making process, so you don’t put all the ingredients in from the start, as they’ll obviously over-cook and become mush.

This will give you time to prepare the uncooked kidney beans. First wash and rinse them in a collander, then place in a pot of water, bring to boil for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them sit in the heated water for about an hour, check for tenderness (bite-test one), then drain the now ready-to-use beans in the collander.


The uncooked kidney beans as they’re first placed in the pot with water

Prepare the cut-up Portuguese Sausage by frying them until slightly browned, then place on paper towel to drain oil…

After over 2 hours of simmering, the ham hock stock will look like this…


PBS stock made with ham hocks, cilantro, bay leaf, chicken stock and water

Notice the rich brown color and the porky aroma! Fish out the now-tender ham hocks and place them on a cutting board, let them cool, then remove the meat from bone with a fork and knife and discard the bone…


Tender, fully cooked ham hocks with meat removed


Now you begin throwing everything else into the pot of what you have now is essentially ham hock stock, enhanced by the Bay Leaves and Cilantro. Add the pulled ham hock meat (including the fat if you like it even more decadently tasty!), kidney beans, Portuguese Sausage, uncooked macaroni, potatoes, chopped onions, carrots, crushed garlic, the other bay leaf and stewed tomatoes (don’t add the tomato paste yet), then add enough water to cover, and let it simmer for about another hour, stirring occasionally.


The finished pot of Portuguese Bean Soup

Finish it by stirring in the tomato paste by spoonfuls until the soup reaches the desired thickness and taste. Some like it more “tomato-ey” than others. Up to you. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste, then ring the bell for dinner and enjoy!

Garnish each bowl with a sprig of Cilantro and serve with your favorite bread and butter (personally I like Safeway’s French Bread with plenty of margarine spread on it) or soda crackers.


74 thoughts on “Portuguese Bean Soup

  • May 29, 2007 at 7:36 am
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    Looks ono, sample some cuz!

    Reply
  • May 30, 2007 at 4:54 am
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    Pomai,

    Awesome images! You and your family must have really enjoyed this one!

    I can’t wait until the wife make this again ! Three days of constant futts for me but welcomed ones!

    Your blog is definitly on top of the food chain! Thanks for keeping me in suspense of what you are coming up with next! Truly moa bettah than watching the Food Channel!

    Reply
  • May 30, 2007 at 8:56 am
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    Oh man, that looks amazing! The last time I had portuguese bean soup was at the Punahou Carnival three years ago…I’m missing out!

    Reply
  • June 8, 2007 at 11:47 pm
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    mahalo for sharing this receipe, it was the best soup I ever made
    you are awesome

    Reply
  • July 30, 2008 at 7:03 am
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    I was looking at some news online. Then came across a video of Brazil, it mentioned a nation dish. To state is in simple terms, “man I was, hungry” after seeing that”. The last time I did a whole lot of home made cooking (stuff not in da cook books) I was taking some classes in Wahiawa. Home made Kime Chee (ouch) and some home made, portuguese bean soup. What a grind.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2008 at 7:06 am
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    I was looking at some news online. Then came across a video of Brazil, it mentioned a nation dish. To state is in simple terms, “man I was, hungry” after seeing that”. The last time I did a whole lot of home made cooking (stuff not in da cook books) I was taking some classes in Wahiawa. Home made Kim Chee (ouch) and some home made, portuguese bean soup. What a grind. Luck you fella stay hawai’i.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2008 at 9:01 pm
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    Keoahu, you could easily duplicate this Portuguese Bean Soup recipe if you’re located on the mainland by substituting what they call “Linguica” which is actually the proper term for the sausage. While not quite the same as Hawaii’s “local style” Portuguese sausage in flavor, the results should be similar and just as good if you follow the recipe. Another key component is the smoked ham hocks. Make sure you have that, which should be available at most supermarkets.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2008 at 6:39 am
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    FiRST OFF… “I LOVE THiS RECiPE”!!!! My SOUP CAME OUT SO PERFECT, i COULDNT BELEiVE iT! THE ONLy THiNG THAT i THOUGHT COULDVE BEEN BETTER WAS SELECTiNG THE RiGHT HAM HOCK. THE ONE i CHOSE HAD MORE FAT THAN ANyTHiNG ELSE SO THE MEAT PART CAME MOSTLy FROM THE PORTUGESE SAUSAGE. BUT OTHER THAN THAT… iD SAy PERFECT!!!

    MAHALO FOR THE GREAT RECiPE!!!

    Reply
    • September 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm
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      Remedy that by using smoked ham shanks…

      Reply
      • September 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm
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        Leo, excellent tip on using the smoked ham shank (thighs) instead of ham hocks (ankle area) for more meat, as I think the fork-tender smoked ham meat is just as important to the overall flavor of Portuguese Bean Soup as the Portuguese Sausage. And if it’s mostly fat, well, that ain’t exactly desirable. I mean, yeah, the fat adds flavor, but you also want lean smoked ham meat to chew on as well.

        Reply
  • October 8, 2008 at 6:32 pm
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    kRAZy K, glad to hear the recipe came out great. The quality of the ham hocks will certainly reflect the outcome of this dish. I made a pot one time, and the ham hocks weren’t smoked enough, resulting in a rather characterless PBS. They were also kinda’ freezer-burnt, robbing them of that rich “porky” flavor.

    What surprised me was how thin the PBS was at the Portuguese Festa. I prefer mine more on the thick side (at least enough to lightly coat the backside of a spoon), so that it sticks to the bread or soda cracker when dipped in it. Winnah laddat.

    Reply
  • October 30, 2008 at 7:38 am
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    Aloha, I had followed the instructions and i tell you ONO. I added a little of my tutu’s local style to it but not much.

    Much Mahalo’s

    Reply
  • December 30, 2008 at 7:33 am
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    Thanx to my gorgeous man in Hawaii, this recipe has travelled Down Under to Australia. I have to use Spanish Chorizo for the sausage as it the nearest thing here we have and is a perfect substitute, and as christmas has just finished here, I used the Ham bone left over from Christmas Day instead of Ham hocks (it was triple smoked so was spot on!!) I used cabbage instead of carrot as I prefer the cabbage

    Having been introduced to it in Hawaii, I always need to have a little of Hawaii around me. Now I have a HUGE pot full. It tastes bloody GREAT! Even if I do say so myself.

    My Maori friends are now going to add it to their book of what they lovingly refer to as Boil Ups and start a whole new tradition down here.

    Thank you. Oh, I should have taken pictures too.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2009 at 2:09 pm
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    I just finished making this and it turned out so ONOLICIOUS!!! Thanks for a wonderful recipe that brings back memories of growing up in the islands…

    Reply
  • January 5, 2009 at 6:39 pm
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    Rick, Julz and Chey, glad to hear all of you had success following this recipe! That’s what makes doing this rewarding.

    :-)

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm
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    I am 60 years old. My grandma on my mom’s side is pure Potruguese and spoke Portuguese. She made bean soup often and I loved to eat it with a nice hunk of fresh bread lathered with butter. I have eaten and made bean soup all my life and to me it is part of living.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm
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    FYI,
    Folks, for this past Super Bowl, I made some Portuguese Bean Soup. A lot of folks around these parts had no idea (ats why hard). After some shopping around I expressed my idea to a friend. This was a do able thing. And of course it woud be hard to find the right sausage, to complete the project. With some assistance I managed to place a order for some Portuguese Sausage (fresh made, mo’ betta). In the famous words of “Brada IZ” can! Also a note of thanks to, Pomai, mahalo plenty.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm
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    Howzit Keoahu, and you’re welcome! Did you use my/auntie lynn/reid’s recipe? Also, what kind/brand of Portuguese Sausage did you use?

    Now with this talk about it, I wanna’ make another pot! Besides, it’s pretty cool and chilly right now in Honolulu and would be a good time for it.

    Reply
  • April 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm
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    Aloha,

    I always use this recipe and then add a little of my Tutu’s stuff . I have used this several times and this is the best to follow.

    Much Mahalo’s Again.

    Rick

    Reply
  • April 23, 2009 at 6:37 pm
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    Rick, glad to hear the recipe is working out for you. Thanks again also to Auntie Lynn and Reid over at Ono Kine Grindz for providing the guidelines for it.

    Reply
  • April 24, 2009 at 6:06 am
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    Oh yeah. Perfect weather (lousy) for this right now. I’m doin’ it this weekend.

    Reply
  • March 8, 2010 at 2:46 pm
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    Just made a batch of the PBS, man-o-man that ‘s some delicious chow! I wish my Dad was alive to taste it! I keep saying I will try a new recipe but then I use this one again!

    From the Mainland, but wishin I was there!

    Thanks,

    DR

    Reply
  • March 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm
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    Aloha David, glad to hear yet another success using this recipe. I think I’m going to have to make a pot myself very soon!

    Reply
  • February 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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    Greetings, this is a genuinely absorbing internet blog and I’ve cherished studying numerous of your content and posts contained on the internet website, keep up the excellent function and want to read a great deal extra stimulating articles in the long term.

    Reply
  • June 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm
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    MAKING PORTUGUESE SAUSAGE OR PATTIES RECIPE
    10 LBS BONELESS PORK BUTT CUT 1/4 ” OR SMALLER
    MIX WELL WITH THE FOLLOWING AND REFRIGERATE OVER NIGHT BEFORE STUFFING OR MAKING PATTIES:
    3 T (TBSP) SALT 2 T SUGAR
    6-10 GARLIC CUT FINE 4 T PAPRIKA
    1 OZ CIDER VINEGAR 1 T BLACK PEPPER
    2 CUPS WATER 2 T LIQUID SMOKE
    2 CUPS NONFAT DRY MILK POWDER. MIX ABOVE WELL, STUFF IN PORK CASINGS OR MAKE PATTIES. ENJOY!

    Reply
    • June 9, 2012 at 10:22 am
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      Big mahaloz for the recipe! I’m curious how that would turn out if I were to substitute the pork butt with fish. Particularly, fish varieties that may be able to replicate the flavor and texture of pork. I’m thinkin’ of combining Butterfish (Black Cod/Sablefish) and Marlin, with the Butterfish offering the fatty factor, while the Marlin offers the tougher, “meaty” factor.

      Guess I’ll just have to try it myself to find out! Portuguese Fish Sausage! Woo!

      Reply

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