Bread and Garlic Soup with Cilantro
Todd Coleman

The recipe for this garlicky bread soup comes from Rosa Filipe of O Barro restaurant in Redondo, Portugal, who claims it is nicknamed “beggar’s soup” because it contains no meat or fish. It first appeared in our November 2013 issue with Jean Anderson’s story The Food I Dream Of.

Açorda à Alentejana (Bread and Garlic Soup with Cilantro) Açorda à Alentejana (Bread and Garlic Soup with Cilantro)
Garlic and cilantro pesto adds bright flavor to a Portuguese recipe for bread soup
Yield: serves 6-8


  • 4 cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 12 lb. Portuguese pão bread, or 2 kaiser rolls, cut into 1″ cubes and toasted
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Pulse cilantro, garlic, bell pepper, serrano, salt, and pepper in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add oil; purée to a smooth paste. Place 12 cup of paste in a bowl. Add bread and toss to coat; set aside.
  2. Heat remaining paste in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook until fragrant, 2–3 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. While stirring constantly, slowly drizzle in eggs; cook until eggs are just set, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in bread mixture; serve hot.