Made with Aloha: Portuguese Bean Soup


The chill in the air, rain and/or snow. It’s the time of year when I crave soup. Especially the ones I grew up enjoying like Portuguese bean soup.

Back home, I’d order it on the regular at Zippy’s. Something about the spice and heartiness of the Portuguese sausage, potatoes and kidney beans in a rich tomato/chicken broth brought immediate comfort. For those of you on the mainland, you can get your fix, too. Zippy’s sells Portuguese bean soup in frozen pouches at Marukai (Know of anywhere else? Do share in the comments below!).

Or you can make it at home. Confession: As with most soups made with love, there are a number of ingredients involved and the soup requires time to simmer. So while it’s not something you may be inclined to make by yourself, it’s a perfect dish to make with your family and/or friends. Send out the recipe, ask each person to bring an ingredient or two. Doing so only adds to the spirit of community, the essence of living aloha. Then, on the designated day, do all the prep and cooking together. Allow yourself time during prep to talk story. It’s this quality time spent together that makes it a moment of aloha. You can’t live aloha if you’re rushing or stressed. Aloha and community is only cultivated by time and engagement.

If you Google “Portuguese bean soup,” you’ll find a range of recipes to choose from. But my favorite happens to be one that’s included in the board book Sand Mouse’s Soup. My toddler received it about a year ago. It’s a beautiful story about sharing every day of the week. It quickly became one of our favorites to read together and the story is accompanied by an easy Portuguese bean soup recipe to try.

We hope you enjoy creating a wonderful, comforting dish with the help of your friends. And if you do, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear how it goes.