Portuguese Garlic and Bread Soup with cilantro

This Portuguese-origin soup is not only simply delicious and nutritious, it's also the perfect opportunity to make use of old cilantro and chiles, and stale bread. It's a recipe that transforms simple ingredients into a memorable soup.
Croutons in a bowl with a person holding a spoon for Portuguese Soup.

About this recipe

Açorda alentejana is a traditional Portuguese dish, originally from the Alentejo region, known for its rustic simplicity and delicious flavor. This bread soup is a clear example of how essential ingredients can be transformed into a comforting and flavorful meal, perfect for cold days or when you want something delicious, light, and warm.

The base of the Alentejo açorda is stale bread, rehydrated in an aromatic broth made with garlic, coriander, olive oil, and sometimes poached egg, which adds a rich and creamy texture. I make it with chickpeas to make it more substantial, but you can make it however you prefer.

It is often served as a main course, demonstrating the ability of Portuguese cuisine to create hearty dishes with modest ingredients. Its preparation reflects the essence of Alentejo’s cuisine: the love for local products and the passion for turning the simple into the extraordinary.

How to make Portuguese garlic and bread soup?

A food processor full of green peppers, garlic and cilantro.

First step: put the ingredients in the food processor or blender.

Pesto with cilantro in a food processor.

Let the machine run until you have a paste. The consistency should be pesto-like.

A green cilantro sauce that is stirred in a pot.

Second step: empty the cilantro mix into a pot and sauté until it changes color, about 5-8 minutes. Add the vegetable broth or water and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and check for salt.

A bottle of olive oil is poured on a plate of croutons with Bread and Garlic.

Third step. Prepare the bread. Some people make the croutons with the cilantro mixture; I prefer to make them with olive oil and salt. You can make them in the oven, frying pan, or air fryer.





Croutons in a bowl with a person holding a spoon for Portuguese Soup.

PORTUGUESE GARLIC AND BREAD SOUP WITH CILANTRO

Alejandra Graf
This Portuguese-origin soup is not only simply delicious and nutritious, it’s also the perfect opportunity to make use of old cilantro and chiles, and stale bread. It’s a recipe that transforms simple ingredients into a memorable soup.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 4 people
Calories 989 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cilantro stems and leaves
  • 1 green pepper stem and seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 7 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas 1 can
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

BREAD

  • 4 cups baguette bread in cubes about 1 medium baguette
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • First step: put the cilantro, green pepper, jalapeño, garlic cloves, olive oil, and salt in the food processor or blender. Run the machine until you get a paste. The consistency should be like pesto.
  • Second step: pour the paste into a pot and sauté until it changes color, about 5-8 minutes. Add the vegetable broth or water and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and check for salt.
  • Third step. Prepare the bread, cut it into pieces and place it on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Bake in an oven at 180°C (350°F) for 10-15 minutes. Stir halfway through.
  • Serve. Serve the soup in bowls and finish with the croutons fresh out of the oven.

Notes

  • You can finish this soup with lemon zest or paprika.
  • Store the croutons in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay crunchy for several days.
  • The soup can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • This soup is perfect for using up vegetables and herbs that are no longer fresh.
  • How to make croutons in a pan. To make croutons in a pan, heat the pan, add cubes of bread seasoned with salt and olive oil, toast them over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden and crispy.
  • How to make croutons in an air fryer. In an air fryer, spray the seasoned bread cubes with a little oil, place them in the fryer basket, and cook at 180°C (350°F) for about 5-10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until they are golden and crispy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 989kcalCarbohydrates: 139gProtein: 29gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gSodium: 4664mgPotassium: 588mgFiber: 11gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 1418IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 298mgIron: 10mg
Keyword cilantro, garlic

information

Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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