'Ulu is nutritious and a healthy natural starch – it takes the place of the pasta found in a traditional Portuguese bean soup recipe. Chef Michi tries to incorporate 'ulu into her cooking whenever possible to support this local industry.
Start by boiling the ham shank or hock in water for at least one hour or more, until the meat is easy to pull off the bone. Keep adding water to maintain the original level of the water when you started—this is my secret weapon as this liquid is the stock for your soup. When the ham is soft, remove from heat and use tongs to remove from the stock and set aside to cool. When ham is cool, remove the meat from the bones, cut into small pieces and set aside stock and ham pieces.
Use a large pot to make your soup. Start by heating it over medium heat, adding the oil and sautéing the onion for about 3 minutes. As you sauté, add in the paprika and granulated garlic. When the onion starts to look translucent, add the Portuguese sausage and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the diced tomato and all the stock. Bring back to a gentle simmer then add ‘ulu, carrot and celery. Continue to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, then add the kidney beans and cabbage. If the soup is too thick, add some tap water! Season to taste with garlic salt and black pepper and add the parsley.