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)
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 Kidney beans
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