Saturday, March 9, 2013

Vegan Hawaiian Portuguese Bean Soup

I know this may sound a little odd, how can Portuguese bean soup be vegan. Well, with a little creativity and a little trail and error, we can get have the comfort, the taste and and texture of the classic stew without meat.

Portuguese bean - (I love this article about the soup)  is a classic all in one bowl comfort food in Hawai'i.  Just like chili, everyone has their own secret spice and recipe. If you are not familiar with this thick soup, I would describe it as a hybrid of  Minestrone and chili. Just like everything else in Hawai'i, there is a little of different cultures in the soup.  It is usually a meat base soup, made with ham hock and Portuguese sausage. It is difficult to get Portuguese sausage on the mainland. I used to call it "contra-ban" and brought back the "goods" frozen from the Islands every year. We are very lucky that United Noodles carries it now. These is no vegetarian version of Portuguese sausage yet, I have to come up with a substitution. Once in awhile I would make a batch of Portuguese spice. I am using the spice mix I made in the soup here, however Chinese 5-spice is a great substitute. Actually some of the spices in Portuguese sausage is very similar to Chinese 5-spice.

As with the meat, I found a great soy chorizo at Trader Joe's, with the added spice, it tasted pretty close to the classic soup! I usually do not put cabbage in mine. As I mentioned every family/person has their version, experiment and make it your own!

Vegetarian Hawaiian Portuguese Bean Soup
1 package soy chorizo (casing removed as per direction)
1 med onion- chopped
2 carrots - cleaned, peeled and chopped
2 stalk celery - cleaned and chopped
1 15 oz can red kidney beans - drained
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans - drained
1 15 oz can diced tomato
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1-2 tbsp chili powder (to taste)
1 tbsp tomato paste
2-3 bay leaves.
1 cup elbow macaroni
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup (about 1/3 of a bunch) cilantro - chopped
In a med size fry pan, heat a couple tbsp olive oil. Brown the soy chorizo
Add 5 spice powder, mix well
Add onion, carrot and celery, saute for 3-4 mins till the vegetable begin to soften. Transfer the vegetable mix to a 6 qt dutch oven or pot.
Add Kidney beans
Garbanzo beans
diced tomato
Then stock
Chili powder to your taste ( I like it spicier, as it is vegetarian)
1 Tbsp tomato paste.
Add macaroni
Finally bay leaves, bring the soup to a full boil, lower the heat to simmer, and let it cook for about 30-45 mins. Check and stir to make sure the noodle is not sticking to the bottom.
When the soup is ready, add chopped cilantro. It's ready to serve!

Serve 6-8.

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