It is a long process, so I suggest cutting up the veggies (except the cabbage) the evening before, when you put the ham hocks on to cook. I put the cubed potatoes (mine were more chunks than cubes) in salt water and stored in the fridge with the other prepared vegetables. I sliced the sausage instead of cutting into cubes and also cooked it the night before. I didn't have tomato sauce, so I substituted 1/2 can of diced tomatoes--worked just great.
Portuguese Bean Soup
-4-5 Lbs. Smoked Ham Hocks (Safeway is the only store I can find that carries smoked ham hocks; if you can’t find smoked, fresh ham hocks is fine)
-1 Package of Portuguese Sausage, diced into 1” cubes (Redondo’s is what I use but any brand is okay)
-3 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1” cubes
-4 stalks Celery, diced
-3 Medium Carrots, diced
-1 Yellow onion, diced
-1/2 of a small head of Cabbage, sliced into thin strips
-4 Bay Leaves
-1 15 oz. can Tomato Sauce
-1 can Kidney Beans
-4 14 oz. can Chicken Broth
-Salt and Pepper to taste
If using a dutch oven:
-Preheat oven to 250 degrees Farenheit
-Using a 7 quart (or larger) dutch oven toss in the ham hocks, tomato sauce, one can of the chicken broth, and the 4 bay leaves. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt (use less if using table salt) and a teaspoon of pepper.
-Cook for 8 hours. What I usually do is put it in the oven before I go to bed (around 10pm) and take it out when I wake up (around 7). You can’t overcook ham hocks; it’ll only make the soup tastier.
If using a crock pot:
-Turn on setting to low and cook for 8-10 hours
-Once the ham hocks are done cooking, place in a cool area and let cool until it is ready to be handled.
-Next, with your hands, separate the meat from the bones and fat. You’ll find that if you’ve cooked the ham hocks long enough, the meat should separate fairly easy. Discard the fat and the bones.
-In a large pan, cook the portuguese sausage on a medium to medium-low setting to render the fat and juices from the sausage (15-20 minutes). Once the sausage is nice and crispy, remove from heat and save the fat and juices to add to the soup.
-Return the ham hock meat back to the dutch oven or large pot and place on stove top under medium heat.
-Add potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, the portuguese sausage and juices, the remaining chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste to the soup base and bring to a simmer.
-Cover and cook until potatoes are almost knife tender (10-15 minutes). Tip: do not over cook the potatoes as it will make the soup mushy and very thick.
-Next, add the sliced cabbage and kidney beans and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes.
-Serve with some crusty bread (mainland style) or some hot rice (Hawaiian style).
Serves about 10
Thank you so much, Nicole! My family had the soup for two meals, and I froze a meal as well. Visit on Thursday for Bibingka!