Whenever I need to describe Portuguese bean soup to someone, I typically describe this pork-laden dish in one of two equally accurate ways. It’s either the Hawaiian answer to chili, or it’s a tasty heart attack in a bowl.
Like I said, they’re equally accurate descriptions.
I grew up with my mom making this soup any time we had company over, and her recipe is one of my all-time favorites. I love the way the acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the smokiness of the bacon and ham hocks, and the spice from the sausages adds the perfect touch to the dish. Even better, this is a slow cooker meal, so you can pull everything together in less than 10 minutes in the morning and have a hot meal ready to go for dinner!
When you serve this, you can treat it like chili in a lot of ways. I’ve always eaten this soup over rice, and I’ve found that green onions make a perfect topping. This soup also freezes well, so you can save the leftovers for any time that you’re in the mood for a taste of Hawaii.
Slow Cooker Portuguese Bean Soup
1 lb Portuguese sausage, cubed
8 oz bacon, cooked and chopped
8 oz little smokies sausages, chopped
1 lb smoked ham hocks, cooked and shredded
1 28-oz can of tomato sauce
1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1 16-oz can kidney beans
Optional: 1 cup elbow macaroni
Cooked rice for serving
Combine all ingredients except beans and macaroni in a large slow cooker, and turn the heat to low. Cook for 10 hours; add the beans (and macaroni, if using) during the last hour of cooking. Stir, and serve over rice once the beans are cooked through.
Serves about 10.