portuguese bean soup

i’ve made this soup three times, and it is always a big hit. this one’s a keeper!


portuguese bean soup
sam choy’s wife’s recipe (from monica)

2 cups dried beans – kidney, pinto, or small red
2 smoked ham hocks or ham shanks
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 cups water
10 oz portuguese sausage
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups diced carrots
1.5 cups diced onions
.5 cup diced celery
2 cups tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste

1. soak the beans in water overnight.

2. drain the beans. in a stock pot, combine soaked beans, ham hocks, chicken stock, cilantro, and water. bring to a boil, then simmer until meat and beans are tender, about 1.5-2 hours.

3. remove ham hocks and set aside to cool. when cool enough, extract meat from ham hocks, discarding skin and bones. shred the meat and return to stock pot.

4. slice and fry portuguese sausage and blog with paper towels.


add sausage to stock pot along with potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and tomato puree.


cook until potatoes are tender. season with salt and pepper.

comments: portuguese bean soup is another hawaii staple… i’m not becoming hawaiian though! although mac salad is becoming less gross to me… aaaaahhh gotta go back to california! anyway, to me, this recipe is a little different than the “normal” recipes – it doesn’t have cabbage or macaroni; it is thicker than most; and the color is more orange-y 🙂 another thing is this recipe goes better with bread than rice – cameron says it’s because it’s so thick. in the picture at the top, we had the soup with some homemade ciabatta bread.

monica gave us this recipe, and she said she thinks the two secrets are the cilantro and the tomato puree. the cilantro is really important to the broth and the tomato puree helps make it thicker and give it that tomato taste. for this recipe, we like to use pinto beans because cameron says he likes those better for this soup… and i prefer using ham shanks because those have more meat. those ham chunks are so good in the soup. also, i like to make the soup a day before because then the flavors meld more and the soup gets nice and thick. oh and the past two times i made the chicken broth, which i think makes it really good.

irish soda bread

classic irish soda bread
from the america’s test kitchen family baking book


3 cups (15 oz) AP flour
1 cup (4 oz) cake flour
2 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp cream of tartar
1.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus extra, melted, for brushing
1.5 cups buttermilk

1. adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together ina large bowl. work the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork until the texture resembles coarse crumbs. stir in the buttermilk with a fork just until the dough begins to come together.

3. turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead just until the dough becomes cohesive and bumpy, about 30 seconds (do no knead until smooth). pat the dough into a 6″ round about 2 inches thick, and lay on the prepared baking sheet.

4. cut a large 1/2″ deep X into the top of the loaf using a serrated knife or clean razor blade. bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 40-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. (ow! you cut me too deep!)


5. let the loaf cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. brush with melted butter before serving. (now i’m kinda ugly cuz you cut me too much… oh well i taste good)


comments: i had some extra buttermilk, so we tried this recipe. it is like super easy and fast to make compared to some other bread-like things. no yeast so you don’t have to wait for it rise, don’t need to cut or shape anything, don’t need a mixer to do any kneading for you. to me, the buttermilk makes it taste kind of like a biscuit, but the texture’s different since it is not loaded with butter. ATK says it is great with soups and stews, and the leftovers make fine toast. i think it tastes good with lots of jam:


anyway, hope i’ll have some time to try some other kinds of breads soon 🙂