Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe With Delicious Ingredients Of Warm Flavors

Portugal beckons with its picturesque landscapes and cultural richness. Yet, it’s the flavors that truly captivate the soul. Dive into a pot of authentic portuguese bean soup recipe, and you journey through centuries of culinary tradition. 

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Each spoonful unravels tales of old-world kitchens. Tender beans, aromatic spices, and savory meats converge in a symphony of taste. It’s not just soup; it’s an experience. It’s a warm hug on chilly nights and a festive centerpiece on family tables. Join us as we explore this treasured recipe. Let Portugal’s culinary magic enchant your palate. Dive in. Savor. Celebrate.

What Is Portuguese Bean Soup?

Portuguese Bean Soup is a hearty, flavorful dish originating from Portugal. Brimming with robust ingredients, it combines tender ham hock and savory linguica sausage with kidney beans, making it protein-rich. Adding vegetables like potatoes, celery, carrots, and cabbage introduces texture and nutrition. 

The stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce provide a tangy base, creating a rich broth. Infused with garlic and simmered to perfection, this soup offers a delicious blend of tastes and textures, capturing the essence of Portuguese culinary traditions.

History Of Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe 

Originating from the heart of Portugal, the bean soup traces back to rustic kitchens of yesteryears. Crafted by humble farmers, it was a nutritious means to use available resources. With Portuguese migration, especially to places like Hawaii, the soup evolved, integrating local flavors. 

The incorporation of linguiça (smoked sausage) became its signature. Over time, this hearty delicacy transcended borders, embodying the rich tapestry of Portuguese culinary heritage and global influences.

Interesting Facts About The Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe

  • Island Influence: While originally Portuguese, the soup gained immense popularity in Hawaii due to migrant influences.
  • Sausage Selection: Traditionalists prefer “linguiça,” but modern takes might use other smoked sausages.
  • Feast Essential: This soup often graces festive tables in Portugal, especially during Christmas.
  • Evolution: The soup’s ingredients have evolved, with some versions adding pasta or rice.
  • All-in-One Meal: Its rich ingredients make it both a soup and a main dish.

What Makes The Portuguese Bean Soup Special? 

  • Rich Heritage: An embodiment of Portugal’s culinary tapestry, the soup tells tales of centuries-old traditions.
  • Diverse Ingredients: A medley of beans, meats, and vegetables ensures a burst of flavors and textures in every spoonful.
  • Adaptable Nature: Over time and across regions, the soup has embraced local tastes while preserving its essence.
  • Nutritional Value: A wholesome combination offering proteins, fiber, and essential vitamins.
  • Heartwarming Quality: Its warm, comforting nature makes it a favorite during cold weather.

Ingredients List 

Ham hock1 piece
Linguica sausage1 (10 ounce), sliced
Onion1, minced
Water2 quarts
Potatoes4, peeled and cubed
Celery rib2, chopped
Carrots2, chopped
Stewed tomatoes1 (15 ounce) can
Tomato sauce1 (8 ounce) can
Garlic1 clove, minced
Cabbage1/2 head, thinly sliced
Kidney beans1 (15 ounce) can

Ingredient Tips

  • Ham Hock: Opt for a smoked ham hock for added flavor depth.
  • Linguica Sausage: Ensure fresh; older sausages might be overly dry.
  • Onion: Yellow onions offer a sweeter flavor profile, ideal for this soup.
  • Potatoes: Use starchy varieties, like Russets, for a richer consistency.
  • Celery & Carrots: Freshness is key; avoid limp celery or soft carrots.
  • Stewed Tomatoes: Choose low-sodium cans to control salt content.
  • Tomato Sauce: A hint of basil or garlic can elevate the soup’s flavor.

Can You Vary Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto: Skip beans and potatoes, adding more low-carb vegetables like zucchini. Use bone broth for added nutrients.
  • Paleo: Use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Avoid processed sausage; opt for fresh, quality meats. Exclude beans.
  • Gluten-Free: Ensure the sausage and any added broth are gluten-free. Most natural ingredients in this recipe are inherently gluten-free.
  • Whole30: Replace canned tomatoes with fresh ones, avoid processed sausage, and omit beans.
  • Vegetarian: Omit the ham hock and sausage. Add robust veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms for depth.
  • Vegan: Along with the vegetarian modifications, use vegetable broth as the base and add hearty vegetables or tofu for protein.

Recipe Directions 

  • In a Dutch oven, combine ham hock, linguica, onion, and water; boil, then simmer for 1 hour.
  • Extract the meat from the ham hock, chop, and add back to the soup.
  • Mix in potatoes, celery, carrots, tomatoes, sauce, and garlic; simmer for 1.5 hours.
  • Add cabbage and beans; cook for 10 more minutes.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Meat Choices: Beyond linguica and ham hock, consider chorizo or bacon for added smokiness.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Replace meats with mushrooms, tofu, or tempeh.


  • Grains: Barley or rice can be added for an even heartier meal.
  • Beans: Experiment with different bean types, like chickpeas or black beans.
  • Spices: Paprika, cumin, or saffron can add flavor.


  • Herbs: Fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil can be sprinkled atop before serving.
  • Cheese: Grated Parmesan or feta could lend a salty tang.
  • Heat: Red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce can spice things up.

Scaling The Recipe 

  • Proportions: Maintain ingredient ratios. If doubling the recipe, double every ingredient. For halving, use half the quantity.
  • Pot Size: Ensure your cooking vessel is appropriately sized. A larger pot is necessary for increasing quantities and vice versa.
  • Cooking Time: While the initial boiling phase remains relatively constant, simmering may take longer for larger quantities to ensure even cooking.
  • Taste and Adjust: Scaling might slightly alter the flavor. Always taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like chopped parsley, cilantro, or chives add a burst of color and a hint of freshness.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of grated Parmesan, feta, or even Pecorino can add a rich, salty dimension.
  • Drizzles: A drizzle of quality olive oil can elevate the dish’s flavor and give it a glossy finish.
  • Spices: A dash of smoked paprika or pepper can enhance visual appeal and add a touch of heat.
  • Bread: A crusty bread or a crouton on top can offer a contrasting texture.
  • Citrus Zest: Lemon or orange zest can provide a fragrant, zesty accent.

Can I Make Portuguese Bean Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Brown the linguica and onion in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker for enhanced flavor.
  • Combine all ingredients, except cabbage and kidney beans, in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  • Add cabbage and beans in the last hour.

Instant Pot

  • Using the sauté function, brown the linguica and onions.
  • Add all other ingredients except cabbage and beans, securing the lid.
  • Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes, then release naturally.
  • Add cabbage and beans, then use the sauté function for 10 minutes until the cabbage softens.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: Quickly accessible and perfect for impromptu cooking.
  • Consistency: Offers a stable flavor profile each time.
  • Variety: Comes in various types – low-sodium, organic, or bone broths.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor Depth: Customizable and often richer in flavor.
  • Control: You can regulate salt content and avoid preservatives.
  • Nutrition: Homemade, especially bone broth, can have more nutrients and collagen.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe?

  • Meat: Beyond linguica and ham hock, consider chorizo, bacon, chicken, or beef cuts.
  • Fish: Cod or haddock can give the soup a coastal twist, though they should be added later in the cooking process.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes like macaroni or orzo can be introduced for a heartier touch.
  • Vegetables: Expand your vegetable palette by adding bell peppers, zucchini, kale, or spinach.

Success Tips-Tips And Tricks For Making The Recipe 

Prepping Tips

  • Soak Beans: If using dried beans, soak overnight to reduce cooking time.
  • Mise en Place: Chop and measure all ingredients beforehand for smooth cooking.
  • Freshness: Use fresh vegetables for better flavor and texture.
  • Meat Prepping: Separate meat from the bone before simmering for easier handling.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Tenderness Check: Periodically test the tenderness of beans and meat.
  • Layering: Introduce ingredients in stages, allowing hardier items more cooking time.
  • Consistent Simmer: Keep the simmer steady to ensure even cooking.
  • Final Taste: Always taste and adjust seasonings in the final cooking moments for optimal flavor balance.

Nutritional Values

Portuguese Bean Soup is a feast for the palate and a nourishing treat for the body. Packed with protein from meats and beans, fiber from vegetables, and essential vitamins and minerals, every serving offers a balanced, healthful dose of nutrition.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?

The Portuguese Bean Soup may contain about 250-400 calories for the recipe. Always consult specific ingredient labels.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe

  • Gluten: Linguica or other sausages might contain gluten. Always check labels or seek gluten-free variants.
  • Meat: It contains pork, making it unsuitable for vegetarians, vegans, and specific religious dietary laws.
  • Legumes: Kidney beans can be problematic for those with legume allergies or sensitivities.
  • Nightshades: Tomatoes in the soup are nightshades, which some people avoid.
  • High Sodium: The soup might be high in sodium depending on the sausage and canned products used.
  • Carbs: Potatoes and beans introduce carbohydrates, which might concern low-carb dieters.

Health Benefits Of Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe

  • Protein-Rich: Linguica and ham hock provide essential amino acids for muscle building and repair.
  • Fiber Boost: Kidney beans and vegetables promote digestive health and satiety.
  • Vitamin-Rich: Vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes offer vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Mineral Content: Beans and meats contribute iron, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Antioxidants: With their lycopene content, Tomatoes, and other vegetables deliver antioxidants to combat oxidative stress.
  • Bone Health: Ham hock contains collagen, which supports joint and bone health.

Nutrition Table 

How Can I Make Bean Soup Recipe Lower In Sodium?

  • Homemade Broth: Opt for a sodium-free homemade broth or stock instead of store-bought versions, which often contain added salt.
  • No-Salt Canned Products: Choose no-salt-added or reduced-sodium canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  • Rinse Beans: If using canned kidney beans, rinse them thoroughly to remove excess sodium.
  • Linguica: Seek out low-sodium sausages or consider reducing the amount.
  • Season Wisely: Avoid adding extra salt. Instead, amplify flavor with herbs, spices, and aromatics like garlic and onions.

How Can I Make Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe Lower In Sugar?

  • Canned Products: Opt for no-sugar-added or unsweetened canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  • Check Sausage: Some sausages contain added sugars. Read labels and choose those without sweeteners.
  • Beans: If using canned beans, select those without added sugars or syrups.
  • Homemade Stock: Store-bought broths can contain hidden sugars. Making your own ensures control over its contents.
  • Natural Flavors: Emphasize natural sweetness from ingredients like carrots and onions instead of adding sugars.

How To Serve The Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe At Its Best?

  • Warm Bowls: Preheat soup bowls to ensure the soup remains hot while eating.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or cilantro atop for a pop of color and fresh taste.
  • Bread on Side: Offer crusty bread or cornbread to complement the soup’s hearty texture.
  • Olive Oil Drizzle: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil adds a touch of richness.
  • Lemon Wedge: A squeeze of fresh lemon can enhance the soup’s depth and brightness.
  • Pairing: Complement with a light salad or grilled vegetables.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe

  • Crusty Bread: Slices of fresh sourdough or baguette, perfect for dipping.
  • Green Salad: A light mixed greens salad with a tangy vinaigrette balances the soup’s richness.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Char-grilled asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini offer a smoky contrast.
  • Cheese Platter: Semi-soft and hard cheeses can pair beautifully with the soup’s flavors.
  • Olives: A mix of green and black olives add a briny touch.
  • Roasted Potatoes: Seasoned with rosemary and garlic for a heartier accompaniment.

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

  • Refrigeration: Transfer the soup to airtight containers once cooled to room temperature. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, the soup can be frozen. Pour it into freezer-safe containers or bags, leaving some space for expansion. Properly stored, it can last 2-3 months in the freezer.
  • Reheating: Always reheat thoroughly until piping hot. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Can I Make Soup In Advance? 

  • Flavor Development: Allowing the soup to sit enhances flavors as ingredients meld together.
  • Convenience: Prepare it a day ahead for events or busy schedules.
  • Storage: Cool it quickly to room temperature after cooking, then refrigerate.
  • Reheat: Gently reheat on the stove, stirring occasionally to ensure even warmth.
  • Freezing: Before making the advance, consider freezing and thawing before your meal.

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Bean Dip: Blend the soup into a thick paste, add seasonings, and use as a dip.
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers: Fill hollowed peppers with soup, top with cheese, and bake.
  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the soup to a thicker consistency and toss it with pasta.
  • Bean Burritos: Use as a filling for tortillas, adding cheese and veggies.
  • Pot Pie Filling: Encase in pastry and bake.
  • Rice Bowl: Serve over a bed of rice, topped with fresh herbs.
  • Baked Potato Topping: Pour over split baked potatoes.
  • Grain Salad: Mix with quinoa or barley, fresh vegetables, and a tangy vinaigrette.
  • Frittata Base: Combine with beaten eggs, pour into a skillet, and bake.
  • Casserole Layer: Layer with tortillas or lasagna sheets, cheese, and bake.

Special Tools And Equipment Needed 

  • Dutch Oven: This heavy-bottomed pot is perfect for simmering soup, ensuring even heat distribution.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife: For precise cuts of vegetables and meats.
  • Cutting Board: A large one helps with ample prep space.
  • Ladle: To stir and serve the soup efficiently.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: Ensures the right quantities of ingredients.
  • Strainer: Useful if you need to rinse canned beans.
  • Garlic Press: For extracting fresh garlic juice and pulp.
  • Can Opener: For opening canned tomatoes and beans.
  • Skimmer: Helps in removing impurities or foam while simmering.
  • Thermometer: Ensures the soup reaches a safe temperature if reheating.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is This Soup Spicy?

The traditional Portuguese Bean Soup could be spicy. However, add some crushed red pepper or a spicy sausage variant if you like a kick.

Can I Use Other Types Of Beans?

While kidney beans are customary, you can substitute with pinto, black, or white beans based on preference or availability.

How Do I Achieve A Thicker Consistency?

Consider mashing a portion of the beans before adding them for a thicker soup. Alternatively, reduce the amount of water or increase the simmering time.

Can I Omit The Meat For A Vegetarian Version?

Absolutely! You can skip the ham hock and sausage. Add more beans or veggies like bell peppers or zucchini for enhanced flavor and texture.

Why Is My Soup Too Salty?

If the soup is too salty, add more water, tomatoes, or unsalted broth to dilute the saltiness. Alternatively, throw in more potatoes, as they naturally absorb excess salt.

Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe With Delicious Ingredients Of Warm Flavors

Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe With Delicious Ingredients Of Warm Flavors

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: soup recipe


Prep time


Cooking time





Dive into the rich flavors of Portuguese Bean Soup, a hearty medley of ham hock, linguica sausage, kidney beans, and vibrant vegetables. With every spoonful, relish the melding of savory meats, soft potatoes, and the tangy touch of tomatoes. A culinary journey to Portugal in a bowl!


  • Ham hock

  • Linguica sausage

  • Onion

  • Water

  • Potatoes

  • Celery rib

  • Carrots

  • Stewed tomatoes

  • Tomato sauce

  • Garlic

  • Cabbage

  • Kidney beans


  • Preparation Steps
    Mince the onion and garlic.
    Chop the linguica sausage, celery, and carrots.
    Peel and cube the potatoes.
    Thinly slice half a cabbage head.
    Drain and rinse the kidney beans.
  • Cooking
    Combine the ham hock, sliced linguica, minced onion, and water in a Dutch oven on high heat.
    Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour.
  • Blending
    Carefully remove the ham hock from the pot. Once cooled slightly, extract the meat, chop it into bite-sized pieces, and return it to the soup.
  • Final Touches
    Introduce the cubed potatoes, chopped celery and carrots, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and minced garlic to the pot. Cover it.
    Maintain a gentle simmer for another 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent any ingredient from sticking to the bottom.
    Towards the end of this period, incorporate the sliced cabbage and rinsed kidney beans.
    Allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes or until the cabbage softens.
  • Serving
    Ladle the hot soup into bowls, ideally complemented with crusty bread or a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
  • Additional Options
    For extra heat, consider adding a dash of chili flakes.
    A sprinkle of fresh parsley or cilantro can enhance flavor and presentation.


  • Always use fresh ingredients for the best flavor profile.
  • Adjust the consistency by adding more water or simmering longer.
  • The soup tends to thicken upon standing, so you may need to add more broth when reheating.
  • Experiment with different sausages or beans for unique twists.
  • Garnishing with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro can enhance the overall taste and presentation.
Hanna Barnes

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