With less time these days, I have started cooking in massive batches and freezing the leftovers.
This strategy comes recommended by many mothers who have experienced the early days of parenthood, when time for a shower sounds like a luxury. Our freezer is now stocked with gallon bags of soup and chili, all ready to be thawed and enjoyed.
One of my favorite soups of all time is Portuguese bean soup, a comfort food in Hawaii. It is so simple to make, and is full of hearty meat, potatoes and vegetables. Luckily, I usually have Portuguese sausage on hand in the freezer, thanks to a reliable source (aka my mom), but any other spicy sausage can be substituted. The soup tastes even better on day two or three.
Recipe originally posted on July 11, 2007 here.
Portuguese Bean Soup
1-2 pounds smoked ham hock
3 cans chicken broth
2 cans kidney beans (15 ounces each)
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
4 potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 small head of cabbage, cored and sliced
2 spicy Portuguese sausage (10 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 bay leaf
In a large pot, cover ham hock with chicken broth. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, and lower to simmer until tender (about 1-2 hours). Skim off fat while cooking. Remove ham hocks, and de-bone, dice and set aside. Add rest of ingredients and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add diced ham hocks, and simmer for 40 minutes. Serves 8-10.