Bermuda’s tradition of honouring its many cultures and welcoming new ones has, in turn, spurred island chefs to create an innovative fusion cuisine that has earned Bermuda an important spot on the worldwide culinary map. English colonists were the first to stir a cooking pot here, but as Bermuda grew, the islands attracted immigrants from around the world. Soon, Bermudian cuisine began to simmer with the flavours of Asia, India and the Portuguese Azores, the last of which left their mark on Bermuda with their quintessential Portuguese Red Bean Soup.
Popular throughout the island, with each celebrity and home chef serving their own variation, here’s the inspired recipe from Speciality Inn:
Portuguese Red Bean Soup
Yields one gallon
1 lb. kidney beans (If dry red beans are used, they need to be soaked in water for 24 hours, water changed and then boiled)
8 oz. celery
8 oz. carrots
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
3 stems of parsley
4 medium potatoes (cut in cubes)
3 tbsp. olive oil
12 cups water
A dash of crushed pepper
Cut celery, carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes. In a pot, add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Sauté about 2 to 3 minutes. Add water and red beans (dry beans that have been soaked).* Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat. After 30 minutes — or when beans are tender — add potatoes and parsley. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
*If using canned red kidney beans, add with potatoes after 30 minutes of cooking.