Los Angeles is in the midst of a cold snap, and even though I know my relatives in the midwest and along the Atlantic coast are throwing things at the computer just reading this, I can’t help it: I’m cold and all I want to eat is soup.
My Mom was a great cook and taught me how when I was a little girl. Since it was the 70’s and we lived on Maui, she did make plenty of cassaroles, but she also made lots of great soups and stews. She hadn’t grown up in Hawaii, but she adapted quickly to the local ways, making use of local ingredients and turning them into our family’s favorites.
And it doesn’t get much better than Portuguese Bean Soup. Good for a crowd, it was served at practically every pot luck I ever attended growing up, and of course at home with just the family as well.
I adapted a recipe she had cooked when I was growing up and made it a little healthier by eliminating the ham hocks, which were no doubt meant for flavor, but added a large amount of fat as well, and who needs any more of that?
Portuguese Bean Soup
I started by adding chopped garlic, red onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes to my soup pot with about a Tablespoon of olive oil, a handful of peppercorns and a bay leaf. I sautéd the mixture until the vegetables started to wilt.
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder and CEO of MomsLA, a Community of the Top Mom Bloggers in Los Angeles. And she is currently very chilly.