Portuguese Bean Soup

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During our trip to Hawaii last month, Steve and I bought some Hawaiian staples to bring back with us, including Portuguese sausage (which is so popular that McDonald’s in Hawaii serves it for breakfast with rice and eggs). Since then, I’ve been wanting to make Portuguese bean soup, a local favorite that’s as close to comfort food as you can get. Think gumbo, only Hawaiian-style. I haven’t been able to find Portuguese sausage in Los Angeles, but you could also substitute another spicy sausage, like andouille (which can be found in most grocery stores). The soup turned out very tasty, and was pleasantly reminiscent of home.

Portuguese Bean Soup

1-2 pounds smoked ham hock
3 cans chicken broth
2 cans kidney beans (15 ounces each)
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
4 potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 small head of cabbage, cored and sliced
2 spicy Portuguese sausage (10 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 bay leaf

In a large pot, cover ham hock with chicken broth. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, and lower to simmer until tender (about 1-2 hours). Skim off fat while cooking. Remove ham hocks, and de-bone, dice and set aside. Add rest of ingredients and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add diced ham hocks, and simmer for 40 minutes. Serves 8-10.

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