Golden Portuguese Bean Soup



Published by Harmony Books

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Shelly Johnson, Bonnie’s sister, provided the inspiration for this hot, spicy, and satisfying soup that’s rich in beta carotene.

NotesVegetarian Variation: Omit sausage. Cook the onion and 2 cloves minced garlic in 1 tablespoon oil until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Continue with recipe.

Senate bean soup, a ham bone-flavored, senate stand-by potato-thickened navy bean soup, has been served in the U.S. Senate dining room since early in this century. When once it disappeared from the menu, a bill was introduced on the floor of the Senate mandating that the soup be included on the menu every day that the dining room is open.

6 to 8 servings

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free

Mealdinner, lunch

Type of Dishsoup


  • 1 pound Portuguese or other garlic sausage, such as linguica
  • 1 large onion, minced (about ½ cups)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 4 carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans, drained
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored and chopped (about ½ to ¾ pound)


  1. Pierce the sausages with a fork. Poach in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and slice into %-inch rounds.

  2. Cook the sausages in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the water, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, cracked pepper, salt, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. The recipe can be made ahead up to this point. Refrigerate until ready to continue.

  4. Add the beans and cabbage. Simmer, covered, an additional 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.


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