This amazingly creamy and hearty soup was one of my Vavó Olinda’s specialties! She would always make a batch of this at the same time as she made a batch of Feijão Assado (Portuguese Baked Beans). The soup would always get eaten up first and then all week long, the baked beans were there to enjoy… I’ve never been able to decide which one I prefer more, but I can tell you I love them both. My Vavó passed away in 2007, she was 93 years old and sharp as a whip and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and think about all the wonderful time we had together shopping and cooking, eating and talking, and just spending quality time with one another. I was truly blessed to have the special connection I had with my Vavó and this is one of those recipes that brings her right back to me. Funny how food does that.
My Vavó always referred to this soup as Molho de Feijão although many refer to it as Sopa de Feijão. Whatever you like to call it, it’s a simple recipe really. Under 10 ingredients, no soaking of beans, no special tools needed. The creaminess comes from the combination of the pasta, potatoes and beans, no milk at all. A bowl of this soup and a nice fresh Portuguese Pop-seco bread roll is all you need for a hearty lunch or even dinner. It freezes beautifully, so I highly suggest making the full batch even if it is too much for your size family.
Portuguese Bean Soup (Molho de Feijão)Serves 8-10
1 16oz. package dry white Navy Beans, rinsed and picked through
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves, garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 lb. Hot Portuguese Chouriço, peeled and sliced
5-6 medium potatoes, peeled, diced
1/2 package small shells pasta
1/2 8oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbs. ground red pepper (wet)
1 Tbs. kosher salt, plus more to taste
Fill a large pot about 3/4 with water. Add in dry beans, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for about 1 1/2 -2 hours until beans are very tender. Most of your water will have evaporated, refill the water. Add in chouriço, potatoes salt and red pepper. Bring back to a boil and cover, cook for about 30 more minutes until potatoes are good and tender. Add in pasta, cook for an additional 30 minutes. Add in tomato sauce and taste for salt. Serve with fresh bread… Enjoy!
*Note – a gluten free adjustement for this recipe is to either simly omit the pasta or use a gluten free pasta, it will be just as delicious!