ham it up and feel your beans

“Breakfast at the Aloha Cafe,” by Beth Marcil.*

Howzit! You’re just in time.

I saved a table for you right here out on the lanai. Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable! What a lovely day. Can you feel that gentle ocean breeze caressing your cheek?

Hope you’re hungry, because today I’ve got soup! I would be very remiss if my first recipe of the new year wasn’t a bowl of soup, especially since January is National Soup Month and all.

Since we’re all about Hawai’i, I’m serving a local favorite: Portuguese Bean Soup. My long-time friend, Lynn, gave me this recipe eons ago, and it’s still one of my all-time favorite homemade soups. It’s usually made with Portuguese sausage, which is widely available in Hawai’i, but I’ve substituted other spicy sausages with good results. Feel free to experiment with your own favorites.

The recipe is easy to make, but requires planning ahead because it needs to simmer for several hours. Once all the ingredients are in the pot, you just need to give it a little stir now and then. It’s the perfect weekend meal, a nice hearty bowl of goodness for a cold winter’s day.  I made a big pot recently and it was “real ono.” Enjoy!



1 16-oz can kidney beans, with liquid
2-3 lbs. ham hocks
2 cloves
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 peppercorns
8-9 cups water
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
2 T catsup
1-2 T sugar
garlic salt and pepper (to taste)

Combine above in large pot. Simmer 2-1/2 hours.
Remove meat from bones and cut into small pieces.
Then add 1 ring sausage (spicy), 1 potato, 2 carrots (pared and sliced), and 1 small cabbage (chopped).
Cook another 1-1-/2 hours. Add 1/2 cup salad macaroni (which has been pre-soaked in water 1/2 hour), 1/2 hour before the soup is finished.



*Beth Marcil’s painting is available as a fine art print at HawaiiArt.com.
*Aloha Cafe image copyright © 2008 HawaiiArt.com. All rights reserved.

10 thoughts on “ham it up and feel your beans

  1. Whoa, it’s National Soup Month? Happy National Soup Month, Jama!

    And, man, you have gotten me longing to finally visit Hawai’i….

    Into the Wardrobe


  2. I hadn’t heard of National Soup Month, but one of the first meals I made in January was soup. Thanks for the recipe – I love sausage in soup. Mmmm…


  3. Oh my goodness. Soup. And this soup! I need this soup. I have never bought a ham hock, though, if you can believe it. A lot of my favorite soups turn out to have been made with ham hocks.


  4. We just had bean soup the past few days, but this looks even better than what I made. I’ll try it next time. I love that there’s cabbage in it. We love cabbage too! Also, I don’t think I’ve ever connected Hawaii with soup, interesting!


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