Don’t sit back and let things happen to you. Go out and happen to things.
My boyfriend, Moses, comes from a big Hawaiian family on both sides. His mom’s side is Hawaiian Portuguese and they have carried on the family’s culinary traditions. Growing up, his parents would make a huge pot of soup, and everyone would eat it over the course of the next few days for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but always with lots of white rice.
On the surface, this soup may appear humble and unassuming, but it’s meaty and hearty, loaded with spices, herbs, and, yes, a touch of ketchup, which Moses says is the secret ingredient. Most recipes call for cabbage, but I prefer the toothsome bite and brightness that kale adds to the soup. Cooked low and slow, this soup is made for cold days and family meals.
- 1½ to 2 pounds smoked pork shanks
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup, (preferably Heinz)
- 4 or 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
- 2 teaspoons portuguese spice blend
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 or 4 carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 3 or 4 celery stalks, sliced thinly at an angle
- 1 Maui onion, diced
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- One 5-ounce Portuguese sausage, thinly sliced, or 5 ounces cooked Portuguese Sausage Patties , broken into bite-size pieces
- Two 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 bunch dinosaur or lacinto kale, tough stems removed, cut into chiffonade (thin ribbons)
In a large pot, cover the smoked pork shanks with water by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours. Be sure to skim off the foam as needed. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, garlic, spice blend, salt and pepper to taste, carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for another hour. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as desired.
In a skillet, over medium heat, fry the Portuguese sausage for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Add the fried sausage, kidney beans, cilantro, and kale to the soup and cook for 10 minutes more. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Store any leftovers covered in the pot, or in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.