Theoretically, it is possible.
As you have pointed out it would take time. How much time is largely dependent on how much effort you apply to creating monetized hubs. Because Hubpages allow several ways of earning income particularly promoting affiliate or better still, your own products, you can in time make a substantial income.
The big sticking point is you need visitors and lots of them willing to click adds or buy things you promote. Creating hubs about your passion for brass rubbing might fascinate you but not necessarily the rest of the world. However, creating hubs about hair loss for example and promoting affiliate hair loss products would have more of an audience.
The simple formula is - Find a hungry audience and give them something to feed on. It's a well known marketing strategy and it works. Promote something people want and are willing to pay for, rinse and repeat.