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Home made Portuguese Bean Soup

Hopefully the moderators won't move this to home cooking, because I'm pretty sure it will get lost there since this seems to be a Hawaii specialty not made elsewhere.

Are there special ingredients you use when you make Portuguese Bean Soup? Do you include Macaroni? Cabbage? What's your favorite brand of sausage: Gouvea, Redondo, other? Are smoked ham hocks required or can i use a small ham and put in some liquid smoke for the same effect? Kidney Beans? Pinto Beans? Great Northern? Black Beans?

Anything special you do? Wine or beer in the broth? Mix of beef and chicken stock? special spices?

I've got potlucks two days in a row for about a dozen people. Figured I could make one big pot. Lucky folks on the second day, I'm sure it will taste better.

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  1. I use kale, great northerns.

    1 Reply
    1. Thanks to the Azoreans who came to Bermuda in the mid-1800s we have have Portuguese red bean soup, amongst many other delicious things like malasadas, so it's by no means solely Hawaiian.

      Here it's potatoes, not macaroni, locally-made chorizo, red kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, carrots, paprika, onion...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Athena

        This - what Athena says - is how I make it. I can't usually find hard chorizo, so I usually sub linguica instead. This Rachael Ray version is surprising good, if you are looking for a quick version.


        1. re: jeanmarieok

          KMan knows well that he can get hard chorizo at Don Quijote, or even Foodland (in Kapolei, at least).

      2. Everyone's recipe is slightly different I would assume. I would have to check when I get home, but i'm pretty sure we use ham hock, ham shank, portuguese sausage, carrots, onions, celery, kidney beans, potatoes, cabbage, macaroni, tomatoes, chicken stock.

          1. Is there anything that doesn't have kale in it these days, but I admit, it sounds like a good use for it. Looks like I need to go to the KCC farmer's market on saturday for kale. Maybe for some of the other veg if they look good.

            I've had it with potato and macaroni, and both. In Hawaii we use something called Portuguese sausage, similar to chorizo, not as hard, slightly different seasonings.

            The on-line recipes are an interesting mix, thanks for the link Sara, a couple of them I have seen. I'll be doing it in the slow cooker (after sauteing some of the ingredients.) Probably won't put the kale in till later. Beans I'm thinking of a mix of small red kidney and great northern. I have made it before, but it's been a while. Appreciate the input of others.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KaimukiMan

              Many years ago I worked on a research ship in New England that had Portuguese cooks from New Bedford. They made Kale Soup that was not that different from the local Hawaii version of "Portuguese Bean Soup", with linguica or chorizo, potatoes, white or kidney beans, depending on the cook, plenty of onions and garlic, and of course lots of kale. I think the Portuguese in NB mostly came from the Azores, which is where a lot of Hawaii's Portuguese came from, so the similarities make sense.

            2. Here is Sam Choy's recipe, which is my go to recipe:


              1. pacific brand port sausage, available from factory or don quijote (smaller size only). it's the brand used by mcdonalds and used to be sold when i was at mae mae elem for fundraiser.

                put in the ingredients so that everything not supposed to be mushy is not mushy and with the flavor boiled away! that's my number one complaint about this soup. also lots of black pepper and hot pepper and not over salted.

                  1. Maybe you should post a request on the HI board for "favorite place for local Portuguese Bean Soup" ...that should keep it on the board, and maybe get some leads.

                    1. I made my soup last week, then my internet went down.

                      Found some great smoked ham hocks at Don Quijote, big and meaty. Put them in the crock pot with 2 bottles of brown ale and two cans of chicken stock and a few seasonings overnight (black pepper, bay leaf, a dash of nutmeg and smoked coriander.) Made a great broth. chilled that and used the fat to caramelize my vegetables (onion, carrot, bell pepper.) Also black, great northern and small red beans.

                      Put that that in the crockpot along with the meat from the hocks, 4 sausages, two large cans of diced tomatoes, a can of rotel, and a few diced red potatoes and let it simmer all night on warm. The next morning added the macaroni and kale. Wish I had added more Kale, also some additional sliced carrot (I like carrots) and couple of tablespoons of italian herb blend. A splash or three of Worcestershire and a couple of spoonfuls of guava jelly (it needed a little sweet) finished it off. Would have liked to try watercress but couldn't find it at the store (Don Quijote or Foodland.)

                      I guess I should have served it with rice, but I thought with the macaroni and potatoes, plus of course the beans, I had enough starches. 8 people emptied the crock pot from overflowing to zilch. I was really looking forward to leftovers.

                      Thanks for all the input!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        what kind of sausages did you end up using?

                        1. re: indelibledotink

                          Don Quijote had a mild Gouvea with no added MSG on sale, 10oz sausages. They didn't have any Pacific Brand that day.

                          Also forgot to mention that I added pretty much a whole head of garlic at some point.