Comfort (food) in the Storm

Reader Sarah Yancey shared a recipe for munchupa, a favorite Cape Verdean dish she was cooking during Grayson when she saw eSS&SC’s Facebook post asking what people cook in a storm.

After trying many versions, Sarah picked out what she and her family liked best in all of them and made her own version. “I love cooking this dish in the cold winter months, but it’s perfect for a winter storm when everyone is inside together,” she said.

Cachoupa in Cape Verde is munchup or munchupa in the US. It’s the national dish of the Cape Verde Islands and has been known to bring people together in culture and comfort,” explained Sarah. The ingredients and consistency of the broth can vary from island to island, but munchupa is simply seasoned meats with beans and grains. Other ingredients can include fresh fish, canned tuna, sweet potato, and greens.

The recipe is comforting to Sarah and her family because it’s been passed down on both sides of her husband’s family. Also, as a trained cook with an enormous love of food and cooking, it’s important to Sarah to be able to connect her family to their culture and continue the tradition. The dish is an amazing tasting, hearty, and fulfilling stew…perfect comfort food for a storm.


  • 1 ½ cups yellow samp (see note below)
  • ½ cup dried kidney beans
  • Wrap your hands around these wheel-thrown stoneware mugs from Lucy Fagella. Provided by Local Pottery, Norwell.

    ½ cup dried cannellini beans

  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 large smoked ham hocks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ pound linguica, diced
  • ½ pound chourico, diced
  • 4-5 large stems of kale, chopped
  • ½ head of cabbage, chopped
  • salt, to taste

Place samp, kidney beans, and cannellini beans in a large bowl, cover with 6 cups of water and soak overnight.

Drain and rinse samp and beans. Place in dutch oven or large pot with beef stock, water, and ham hocks. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

In a frying pan heat olive oil and saute onion until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add linguica and chourico and saute for another 10 minutes. Add this mixture along with kale and cabbage to munchupa pot. Season with salt, stir well and cook another 30 minutes.

Serves a crowd, with bread and butter.

(Note: Look for samp in the Portuguese/Cape Verdean aisle at your grocery store, or, better yet, visit the Plimoth Grist Mill for locally-grown, locally-ground samp.)

Even more comforting recipes submitted by our readers:

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Beef and Bean Chili

French Onion Soup