Azore-Style Feijos (Beans)
An Old World bean soup recipe given to me by my husband's cousin's grandparents who are from the Portuguese Azore Islands. You can follow the spice trade route with this recipe. Pity that pink beans are not used much in cooking. They are so delicious! This makes the house smell so good! Can easily be prepared vegetarian.
- Ready In:
- 1hr 40mins
- 2 cups dried pink beans, picked over and soaked
- 8 cups water
- 3 -4 slices bacon, crisply cooked (substitute ham hock, read NOTE*)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 5 -6 whole cloves
- 8 whole allspice
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 ounces tomatoes (diced or pureed)
- salt and pepper
- *NOTE: Can also substitute sausage for the bacon or ham hock. Portuguese linguica, Spanish chorizo or Louisiana andouille, vegetarian "soyrizo", etc. are suggestions. My preference being bacon as I don't care for sausage or ham hock.
- For additional flavor, I usually dry roast the spices in a castiron skillet.
- Soak the beans overnight. Cook the bacon or ham hock and drain on paper towel. Next saute the onion and garlic. Once cooled, break up the bacon into little pieces.
- In large Dutch oven or in crock pot, combine all the ingredients, including the water, excluding the salt. If using a Dutch oven, simmer the beans on medium-low for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are soft.
- If using a crock pot simmer on low 8 hours or until beans are soft. Salt the beans once cooked.
- Adjust seasoning before serving. Now season with salt.
- Remove whole cloves, cinnamon stick and whole allspice.
- Great with freshly baked, crusty bread. Tastes even better if prepared one day ahead then warmed.
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What a wonderful one pot dish! It's like a party for your taste buds! How could it not be when there's this much/ variety of spices? Make in a day ahead to let the flavor meld together. This reminds me of the flavor of Cincinnati style chili which is the creation of Greek immigrants. So many tweaks though...I used pinto beans. I didn't have bacon, so I sauteed my onions in olive oil before adding the other ingredients. I used leftover smoked sausage and added 6 beef bouillon cubes. I diced a fresh Roma tomato. I had no whole Allspice, and made a ground substitute using cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves at about 1.5 tsp. I ended up fishing out the cinnamon stick and cloves immediately, since ground spices are more potent. I used Caraway seeds vs. Coriander and Basil vs. Bay leaves because that's the closest substitutes. I was very surprised the recipe was lacking smoked Paprika, so I added a tsp. I honestly feel like this is an accidental omission because 1) It's used in almost every Iberian dish. 2) It counterbalances the sweeter/ more pungent spices. 3) It wouldn't matter because I use smoked Paprika in/ on nearly everything. I will definitely be making this again while sticking with the recipe 100%... well, almost. I'll be adding a chili pepper for heat. I served this over sour cream whipped potatoes (white rice or pasta would be good too) with a hearty artisan bread and cucumber/ onion and tomato salad and I topped the stew with grated Pecorino cheese. After tasting the stew before putting it in the fridge to meld for a day, I realized it needed a bland soaking side dish and one that was light and tangy. It also calls for a salty component.Reply
This recipe had mixed reviews around our table. Some of us like it, others felt the whole cloves was a over powering taste. I used Romano beans and I also used Portuguese Style Smoked Bacon, in Portuguese it is called "Toucinho" in which I sauteed along with the chorizo after I sauteed the onions. I also added beer instead of all water. Made for Team "Cooks With Dirty Face" for ZWT5Reply