Sunday, October 24, 2010

Portuguese Bean Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & October's Food & Flix: "Mystic Pizza"

So how did I end up making a Hawaii classic soup inspired by a movie centered around a Connecticut pizza parlor?... Well, I really was going to make some kind of pizza for this month's Food n' Flix pick, Mystic Pizza. But watching the movie yet again (it's a favorite 80's chick flick of mine), made me think of the three main characters, Kat, Daisy and Jo, coming of age in their little fishing town of Mystic with its strong Portuguese-American influence. Then thinking about the Portuguese influence there made me think of the influence of the Portuguese on the cuisine of Hawaii--the fried donut-like malasadas, the Portuguese sausage that accompanies many a breakfast plate or plate lunch, sweet bread (not the offal kind but the sweet, fluffy bread), and of course one of my favorites, hearty, delicious Portuguese Bean Soup. And that my friends is how my mind works! ;-)

Although the bulk of the influence from other cultures came from Asia, the Portuguese, who came to work on the sugar plantations in the late 19th century, were the European group with the strongest influence here on the islands. Portuguese Bean Soup is a home-style comfort dish that you'll find on many a menu, as well as at farmers markets, fairs and carnivals. The recipes vary but it always contains Portuguese sausage, assorted veggies and beans and often includes macaroni. I have posted about it before--when I made the Punahou School Carnival version (here), but this time I went to Hawaii Regional Chef and icon Sam Choy for his version.

This recipe comes from "Sam Choy's Island Flavors." I used pretty much the same ingredients, except that I added some macaroni, but I changed the process of making it (my notes are in red below), mainly by cooking the ham hock broth and beans separately so that I could let the broth set overnight and remove the layer of fat before cooking with it the next day. This is a very hearty, slightly-spicy, stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup--perfect anytime, even on a cold and stormy night in Mystic.

Sam Choy says, "At family gatherings, it's the wife's soup or mine. My soup always has leftovers, her soup's always gone. I think we eat more to make her feel better--just kidding. Serve with freshly baked bread."

Da Wife's Bean Soup
"Sam Choy's Island Flavors"
(Serves 8)

2 cups dried beans--kidney, pinto, or small red
2 smoked ham hocks, or ham shanks
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 cups water
1 Portuguese sausage (10 oz), or Italian sausage
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups tomato puree (I used a box of Pomi tomatoes)
1/2 cup dried macaroni
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans in water overnight. Drain.

In a stockpot, combine the soaked beans, ham hocks, chicken stock, cilantro, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until meat and beans are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the ham hocks and set aside to cool.

When cool enough to touch, extract the meat from the ham hocks, discarding the skin and bones. Shred the meat and return to the stockpot. Slice and fry the Portuguese sausage and blot with paper towels. Add the sausage to the stockpot along with the potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and tomato puree. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

How I made mine: Soaked beans overnight and cooked them in water until tender. Meanwhile cooked 1 pound of ham hocks in 2 quarts water until tender. Removed ham hocks from and placed both broth and ham hocks in the fridge overnight. The next day, heated ham stock and 4 cups chicken stock and added carrots, potatoes, celery, onions and tomato puree, simmering about 20 minutes. Meanwhile browned sausage in pan and blotted it dry with paper towels. Returned soup to a boil and added cooked sausage, cooked beans and 1/2 cup macaroni to soup and simmered for another 15 minutes. Added salt and pepper to taste and served garnished with fresh cilantro.

Notes/Results: Really delicious--in fact it is hard for me to pick a favorite between this one and the Punahou Carnival version as they both taste great. The ham hock stock adds so much richness and depth of flavor to this soup. If you like hearty bean and pasta soups with a little spicy sausage thrown in, you will like this one. Filling and perfect for lunch or dinner with a little bread and maybe a small salad. A keeper recipe.

If you want to join in the Food n' Flix fun, visit the website here for all of the details. Our host for this month, Ree of Milk, Sugar, Musings and Love will be doing a round up there of all of the Mystic Pizza inspired dishes after the end of the month.

And now on to the delicious soups and salads in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week.

Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food kicks things off with a healthy, hearty Cabbage and Tomato Soup with Egg. She says, "Clearly, the Cabbage Tomato Soup is one soup I cook quite often. Why not...come Fall or into the colder winter months when most people keep their grills and warm up at home with a soothing comfort soup. I know a lot of you can have this as a meal on its own, just like myself. However, to get a little protein (balanced nutrition) out of the cabbage and tomatoes, I usually add a hard-boil egg. How I enjoy simplicity at its best."

Chaya from Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog has a Nourishing and Creamy Butternut Squash Soup to share this week and says, "This week, April had a simple but welcoming soup, for the cold days, we are having. Honestly, as I looked at her soup, I decided, we would have that soup for dinner. It didn’t quite work out. She made a sweet potato soup and I had no sweet potatoes, in the house. I did have a butternut squash and some baby carrots so voila, I made a butternut squash soup with the tang of scallions."

Graziana from Erbe in Cucina is back this week with a classic Vichyssoise and says, "My partner and I have a bit of fever and sore throat, but we're pretending we're okay because tomorrow we leave for Paris... and we have no intention to give up. Combine these two things: the desire for hot food, French cuisine and so... here is a classic soupe. Someone says that this is an American recipe and not a French one, and traditionally it should be served cold, but it becomes hearty and delicious when hot."

Corina from Searching for Spice tried her first White Chicken Chilli and says, "I have to say that this dish was different to anything I have made before. I don’t use milk very often in cooking and was very nervous about adding the cheese at the end in case it didn’t go with the spices and ruined the whole dish. I’d tasted it and it tasted good without the cheese. But hey, I’d grated a pile of cheese and if I didn’t use it it would go to waste. I don’t like waste so I took a deep breath and sprinkled it on the top. In the end, I needn’t have worried, it was lovely. I’d make it again, with or without the cheese."

A Vegetable Soup served with Crusty Oat Rolls was on the menu for Umm from Taste of Pearl City. She says, "This particular soup is a simple English style soup which is prepared with potatoes and stock as base. Just with this basic recipe you can make so many different types of soup. I was actually planning to make some broccoli soup but I ended up adding all the remaining bits of vegetables I had which resulted in this heart warming bowl of vegetable soup."

Joanna from Go Ahead and Snicker tried Giada's Spicy Calimari Stew with Parmesan Sourdough Croutons and says, "Yeah, I know. Another tomato soup. I didn't mean it, I swear, but this one just called to me, especially since it has two of our favorite words in the title: Spicy and Calimari. Giada's stew hit all the right notes for me: simple, quick, with the right amount of tomato and heat. The amazing thing is this dish calls for no lemon zest. I almost added it to be true to our favorite calimari flavors, but I resisted. I'm not Giada enough for that yet."

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes is declaring soup season and says, "It is time for soup. I am ready for soup. I am embracing my soup loving soul. I began with Minestrone from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. Minestrone is a classic and like all classics, with good reason. It’s good. It’s so good, I didn’t even miss the meat, and as a confirmed meat lover, that is saying something. Made pretty much as written, except that I added a Parmesan cheese rind, because I always do."

It is always a pleasure to have my friend Kat from Our Adventures in Japan at Souper Sundays, and she is here with a perfect for fall Roasted Pumpkin, Garlic & Cauliflower Soup. Kat says, "The weather has been overcast, one day it rained. Kinda gloomy. I'm getting over my cold while Satoshi seems to have caught one. Soup weather. ... Dinner. Served with some rosemary toasts, this was simple, delicious and hit the spot."

Zibi from Fresh Slowcooking made a hearty crock pot Steak and Squash Stew this week. She says, "A completely satisfying beef stew containing pepper squash and bell pepper seasoned with cumin and chili. A great way to warm up with the season's selection of squashes. This beef stew tasted so good, my only regret was that I didn't cook a bigger batch!"

Kait from Pots & Plots is here with a "twofer" this week--a soup and salad. Her soup is a hearty Chicken Corn Chowder about which she says, "We had roast chicken for dinner the other night, which meant we had half a chicken left to do something with. Soup was the thing because I wanted something I didn’t have to babysit. Soup is another one of those blank slate dishes where I often start tossing things in to see what I come up with. This wound up being a variation on my Spicy Corn Chowder, and hubby declared it to be right up there with Taco Soup (which is a family favorite)."

Kait also made a Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Pasta Salad and says, "Hubby declared we were going on a picnic this weekend. In the name of “good served cold or room temp” I opted to make a pasta salad. Pasta salad is one of those dishes that is a good “pull random stuff from the fridge and pantry” kind of thing. Every time I make it it’s something different. This one was centered around the Smoked Red Pepper Monterrey Jack cheese we picked up at the Osceola Cheese Store."

Janet from The Taste Space is back with another one of her fabulous salads, this Israeli Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables and says, "Has anyone else ever had arguments about whether couscous is a pasta or a grain? It is probably just me… I am in the couscous is a pasta camp, and have tried to sway others. Sometimes we just agree to disagree and I don’t really feel like arguing about something a bit trivial. We can both agree that couscous is delicious, though. This time, I wanted to try something different with Israeli (pearl, or coarse) couscous. Adapted from Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers, I liked how the roasted vegetables paired with the plump couscous, and the lemon added a lightness and brightness to the dish."

Some truly wonderful soups and salads too this week. Thanks to everyone who joined in! If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sunday logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a great week!


  1. could really use a bowl of Portuguese Bean Soup, love that stuff :)

  2. Deb...I love that you chose to do a Portuguese dish instead of a pizza. Not that I don't love pizza...just wanted to show my appreciation for how your mind works ;) Sounds like some perfect comfort food. I'd love to sit down with a bowl and watch Mystic Pizza all over again! :) Great roundup, too!

  3. That Portuguese bean soup looks amazing! And some great selections for Souper Sunday this week. I'll be back with a recipe next week!

  4. I love your bowl of bean soup..bean soups are always comforting as well as filling for me.
    I cudnt join this week but loved the roundup!

  5. I grew up in Hawaii so Portuguese Bean Soup is very near and dear to my heart (and my stomach). Its spiciness never failed to warm me up. We always enjoyed eating it with a big piece of Portuguese sweet bread on the side. Great pick.

  6. everything looks fantastic as usual. You soup is right up my might as well be called a stew with all the goodies in it

  7. Hi Deb, Love. Love. Love your Prtuguese bean soup. What a wonderful addition to this months Flick. =)

    The Souper Sunday's looks like something I'd be interested in also. Yummy!

  8. Mystic Pizza!!!! Oh, I love that movie! ;-) Ooooooo, I just remember I own it! Haaahaaa! Sorry gotta go..... movie time!
    p.s. great soups this week! I got called into work ( surgery ) and didn't get to post my lovely soup I'd planned all week to share with you all. * sniff sniff.
    I guess I'll post it for next week.

  9. I definitely like the way your mind works, Deb! Until now I had only thought of pizza for this month's Food 'n Flix. Your Portuguese Bean Soup is a great and original idea, not to mention that it looks vibrant with colors. Great pick!

    This week's roundup has me craving a bowl of hot steamy soup.

  10. It is definitely soup weather! These all look so good!

  11. I so wish I had had time to participate in Food n Flix this month! The movie sounds really fun. and it has some of my favorite oldie but goodie actors.

    This soup sounds super delicious. Totally fine pizza replacement. Really.

    Love the roundup!

  12. Yum! Very hearty and delicious. I'm still looking for the movie. Blockbuster is next.. :-)

  13. Fab roundup!! I am particularly intrigued by the large amount of cilantro in your soup. Must try that!

  14. This soup looks so nice. it reminds me of my great grandmother's bean soup. I've been making a lot of soups lately; this looks like the place to be in that regard! Thanks for stopping by and welcoming me :)

  15. Your hearty soup would be a big hit in my house! And I've always loved this movie. Delicious round-up - lots of ideas for soup season!

  16. thanks for keeping up your souper Sundays, now that it's fall,I'm in the mood for a little soup and there are some great ones here

  17. Back from Paris, I ate many soupes but I'm craving for more... thank you all for the recipes!

  18. This hearty soup sounds perfect for the rainy days we've had around here. It practically warms me up just looking at it. :)

  19. I love the vibrant color of the ingredients in your soup. And why do beans go so well with smoked pork products?
    I love bean soups, and another take on it is always welcome in my house.
    Great round-up, too!
    I meant to participate, but the change in the work schedule prevented me:(

  20. Kat--me too! It warms the tummy and the soul! ;-)

    girlichef--you get me! lol Thanks! ;-)

    Erin--thank you! ;-)

    Sinfully Spicy--I love bean soup too. ;-) Hope to have you back soon!

    Lisa--thanks! It is a favorite of mine too. ;-)

    Danielle--thank you--it is pretty stew-like. ;-)

    Ree--thanks for hosting Food n' Flix this month and I hope you join in Souper Sundays sometime! ;-)

    Gwen--thank you! Mystic Pizza is a fun flick. ;-)

    Kurinji--thank you! ;-)

    Kim--thank you! Have a bowl of soup. ;-)

    Foodycat--thank you!

    Joanne--thanks! That means a lot from non-soup-loving you! ;-)

    Natashya--thank you! ;-)

    Pam--I am a cilantro lover--so the more the better for me! ;-)

    Nico--looking forward to having you at Souper Sundays--thanks for stopping by! ;-)

    Reeni--thank you! A good bean soup is always welcome here too. ;-)

    Kristen--thank you and hope you get a chance to join in sometime soon. ;-)

    Graizana--glad to hear you enjoyed Paris and ate lots of soup too! ;-)

    Lori--thanks! It is an especially good soup for cold days and nights! ;-)

    Lana--pork and beans are a great combo! Hope you get a chance to join in SS next week. ;-)


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