Only Easy: Misty’s Portuguese Bean Soup and “Futsedas”

By: Misty I.

I follow two rules for Portuguese Bean Soup.

Rule #1: No cabbage

Rule #2: No macaroni

My Portuguese/Irish grandmother Mary did not use those ingredients in her soup so I don’t either. If you can chop stuff you can make this, it’s easy! I have fond memories of eating this soup at her house in Honoka’a with a slice of buttered Wonder bread as a child.

Speaking of small kid time, did your Grandparents threaten you when you didn’t listen? When I didn’t listen, my Grandma would threaten me that a feiteceira (Portuguese witch) was going to come and give me “good lickens!” For years I thought she was saying “futseda” and I still crack up thinking about it. She also stored her broom facing up so the “futseda wouldn’t steal it.” I better do a broom check in my house, you know…just in case. This recipe is a modified version of my Grandma’s recipe, I hope you try it soon. It keeps the “futsedas” away, nah just kidding!

Misty’s Portuguese Bean Soup

Ingredients:

6-8 C. water
3-4 packages ham hocks (about 4 lbs. total)
1 Portuguese sausage, sliced in half-moons (Frank’s Foods – Mild)
2 onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large carrots, sliced into coins
2-3 russet potatoes, cubed
3 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
3-4 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 bunch watercress, thoroughly rinsed

Method:

  1. In a large pot cover the ham hocks with water and bring to a boil for about 60-90 minutes or until the meat is tender. I actually use a combination of ham hocks (6 pieces) and ham shanks (2 pieces.)

  1. Chop the watercress, Portuguese sausage, onions, and carrots. Set aside.
  2. After the ham hocks have boiled for 60-90 minutes, add a little more water to cover the ham hocks again if needed.
  3. Add the Portuguese sausage and onions and bring back to a boil for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and tomato sauce next and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  5. Cube the potatoes.
  6. Add the potatoes, kidney beans, and Worcestershire sauce and boil until potatoes are cooked thoroughly but NOT falling apart (about more 15 minutes.)
  7. Mix in the watercress.

Note: The soup will be thick, add a little water if you want a thinner consistency.

That’s it, only easy!

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