Lisbon will always be dreamy to me. I spent my honeymoon there.
In Lisbon beauty is often hidden…
The food is simple and comforting or at least that’s the sort of food we went there to eat in small cafes. For me this meant soup…and chamussas, paprika chicken, fluffy donut-ball pastries, ham, seafood. But first I tried simple, classic, comforting soups because soups have healing properties.
In case you didn’t know, now you know: soup!
Sopa a Alentejana definitely has healing properties. It’s a jet lag fixer. The rich, flavorful broth is a garlic infused chicken stock that gets finished with fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, more garlic, olive oil and then poured over toasted (or day old) bread and topped with an egg poached in the broth. It is simple and soulful.
I usually make the stock a day before I want to serve Sopa a Alentejana. It takes about fifteen minutes to get it going. Then I let the stock simmer down into deep garlicky goodness for two hours which is ample time for cruising around the homeplace in fluffy socks, eating too many Macrona almonds while obsessing over writer’s block, watching Marley (the Bob biography not the Owen and a dog movie) or whatever you like to do when you do you.
I’m just saying that those are some things that could be done during simmer down time.
The stock can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for later use. Turning the stock into Sopa a Alentejana takes about 15-20 minutes and is done right before serving which makes it a good option for a dinner party starter or even a quick weeknight dinner component.
I’ve definitely had Sopa a Alentejana for lunch and even once or twice for breakfast which I guess would make it breakfast soup.
I really like the idea of breakfast soup. Totally good way to start a day.
Recipe: Sopa a Alentejana
Summary: Rich garlic-infused, cilantro and bread soup topped with an egg poached in broth.
For the stock:
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- one pound chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
- 8 cups water
To take from stock to soup:
- 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups garlic, chicken stock
- black pepper and salt to taste
- 2 cups bread cubes, day old or toasted *I prefer to use day old baguette
- 4 eggs, as fresh as possible
For the stock:
- Heat olive oil in bottom of large pot over medium heat.
- Add chicken thighs, skin side down and let them sizzle for five or six minutes. *I like to get the skin golden.
- Add smashed garlic cloves and let sizzle another minute or two.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- Once the stock is boiling reduce the heat to low and cover partially with a lid.
- Simmer over low heat for two hours until the chicken falls easily from the bone and the liquid is reduced by about half.
- Strain the stock and discard the solids. *Stock can be stored in fridge for a few days or frozen for later use.
To make the stock into sopa a alentejana:
- Combine the cilantro leaves, garlic cloves, salt and olive oil. You can use a food processor and pulse a few times like you’re making a pesto or chop everything very well and mix it all up or grind all the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle.
- Heat the stock in a medium sized saucepan to a low simmer.
- Add the cilantro, garlic mix/paste you made already, stir a bit and let soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with black pepper. Now is a good time to add more salt to taste if you want more.
- Bring soup to a slow boil and crack eggs into the stock one after the other.
- Swirl the stock around a bit to help the eggs poach into a nice shape.
- Poach for 3-4 minutes depending on how done you want the yolk.
- Add a handful of bread cubes to each bowl and spoon a little stock over them or serve the soup family style from one large bowl which means add all the bread cubes and let everyone serve themselves at the table. The bread will puff and soften very quickly which is fine…just letting you know.
- Using a spatula slide a poached egg into each bowl. I try to get the egg on top some bread cubes.
- Portion the rest of the soup out into the bowls (or dump it all in one big bowl if you’re serving it family style) and serve.
Preparation time: 2 hour(s) and fifteen minute(s) for the stock, 10 minute(s) for prepping for finishing the soup
Cooking time: 15 minute(s) for the stock to become the soup
Number of servings (yield): 4
Copyright © fatpiginthemarket. Recipe by fat pig. Microformatting by hRecipe.