There are many versions of Munchupa, which by the way is also called Cachoupa by Cape Verdeans from Brava, and it is the national dish of Cape Verde Islands. My grandparents were born in the islands, and growing up my mother made Munchup often. One thing I made sure to take with me when I came of age and left home was the Cape Verde Munchupa Recipe made Lucy’s way.
Over the years I’ve shared this Munchupa recipe with friends and family who asked, and it was nice to see how excited they became to learn how Lucy made her Munchupa; mother has passed away, but a special part of her will always live on because I can share a part of her through her recipe.
What is Munchupa
Munchupa is a very healthy meal because its main ingredients are beans and vegetables. This meal is high in soluble fiber, loaded with iron, protein, and vitamins; Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K which is only found in certain foods. For old timers a pot of Munchupa was a cost efficient way to feed a large family. It’s a delicious and nutritious meal, and many people still prefer a hearty bowl of Munchupa over fast food.
Linguica, Chourico, and/or Neck Bones
1 Chopped Onion
1 Garlic Bulb
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbs Butter or Margarine
1 Tsp Cooking Oil
1 cup Dry Red Kidney Beans (or 1 can red kidney beans)
1 cup Dry Pinto Beans (or 1 can pinto beans)
1 cup Dry Lima Beans (or 1 can Lima bean)
1 cup Samp
1 stalk of fresh Kale washed and chopped (or 3 packs frozen kale)
2 cans Tomato Paste
1 cup Fresh Parsley (cut up)
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Paprika – to taste
Chili Powder (optional)
If using the old fashioned Cape Verde method, like Lucy, with the dry beans:
The night before rinse the beans and Samp thoroughly, then put each in a separate bowl, cover with water – the beans will swell as they absorb the water – let soak, uncovered, over night. Drain before using.
What is Samp, Linguica, and Chourico
Samp is an unbroken corn kernel. It comes dry and in a bag. You have to wash it throughly to make sure there is no sand or pebbles in it. Linguica is a Portuguese sausage, Chourico is a spicy Portuguese sausage.
Okay, let’s make some Cape Verdean Munchupa!
In a large pot heat butter/margarine and oil; add onions, garlic, and bay leaves sauté until tender. Next, add the Linguica, Chourico, or Neck Bones (combined or your choice) brown completely on all sides, then add enough water to cover the meat, and bring to a boil.
Now, add the Kidney beans and let boil again for about 20 minutes, next, add Pinto beans boil for another 20 minutes (add water if needed to cover beans). Then lower heat, cover, and let simmer for about 1 hour. Check often and use large spoon to lift and gently stir to prevent sticking.
Okay, add Samp and Lima beans, (add water to cover if needed) put a lid on your pot and let simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Lift and stir gently periodically.
Next, add kale, parsley, tomato paste, and spices; cover and let simmer until all ingredients are tender and cooked well. To avoid sticking remember to lift and stir.
Serve with Portuguese sweet bread or any other bread, and enjoy.
Makes about 8 -10 servings. Cut ingredients in half to make less!
Note: If using the can beans, and frozen kale the cooking time will be reduced.
The old fashioned way takes longer, but it fills the house with a wonderful aroma, and gives it a nice homely feeling. Tip: Leftover Munchupa never went to waste, mother fried some onions, covered them with Munchupa, and then topped it off with fried eggs for a healthy breakfast.
Note: Samp may not be available in your area, in New England it’s plentiful, in the southeast I can’t find it. You can enjoy this healthy bean soup without samp. Some folk use fresh corn kernels off the cob.