RECIPE: Traditional Portuguese Soupa

traditional portuguese soupa

My paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Portugal. They brought with them the clothes on their backs and this recipe, handed down by their forefathers. Foremothers, actually. I only saw grandma cooking this meal, not grandpa.

In America, this dish would be called pot roast. Simple ingredients, beef, carrots, and potatoes, transformed into cultural cuisine via spices and red wine. To me, this meal represents family. When I cook it, I feel their presence. It is a meal of celebration and good times.

Do you have a recipe that represents your family?

• 1 rump roast (tied w/butcher’s string)
• 1 onion, peeled
• 8 whole carrots, peeled
• 8 russet potatoes, peeled
• 1 loaf French Bread
• water
• two 8-oz cans tomato sauce
• Burgundy wine
• Worcestershire sauce
• 1 bay leaf
• salt & pepper
• Allspice
• Ground cloves
• Garlic salt
• Ground cumin
• Thyme
• Marjoram
• Celery Flakes

1. Place the roast in a large roasting pan.
2. Fill the pan half full of water.
3. Add 1 peeled onion (whole), and tomato sauce.
4. Fill the empty tomato sauce cans with burgundy wine, and add to the pan.
5. Add the bay leaf, and dashes (perhaps 1/4 tsp. if measured) of all of the spices except the celery flakes.
6. Top with a few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce, stir, and cover with lid.
7. Place in 325 degree oven for 3 hours. (No peeking.)

After 3 hours, add peeled carrots, potatoes, and dash of celery flakes to the pot. Cover and cook for 1 additional hour.

To Serve:
Transfer roast to cutting board and remove the butcher string with a sharp knife or scissors. Slice roast into individual servings.

Spoon the potatoes and carrots into serving dishes. (Note: The onion is for flavoring, not to be eaten.)

Slice the french bread about 1″ thick, and place in a long casserole dish. Using a strainer, pour the jus (cooking broth) over the bread.


Filed under Recipes

4 responses to “RECIPE: Traditional Portuguese Soupa

  1. Yum, yum, yum. Rest assured, I WILL make this. A long time ago I ate at a Portuguese restaurant in Fall River Mass with a Portuguese friend. He ordered all sorts of wonderful things in his native language and it was all delicious! My favorite thing was some sort of spicy braised pork with littleneck clams. I have wished to eat it again many times. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Oh, that’s so awesome! Thank you, Miranda. I wish I had more Portuguese recipes. Mmmm… that meal you had sounds fantastic! I didn’t mention the delicious left-overs you will have with this, but fry up the potato slices with breakfast, and you’ll be delighted! Also, you can thicken the jus with cornstarch to make a delicious gravy to pour over open-faced roast beef sandwiches. Enjoy!

  2. Jean, I’d love for more Portugese recipes!

    There are so many recipes that represent family to me cause all we do is eat. =)

    • Hi Jessica! I’m going to have to search my memory banks for more Portuguese recipes. I remember we used to eat linguica (sausage). My grandfather grew his own fava beans in the front yard. Those were always tasty!

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