Portuguese Garlic and Cilantro Bread Soup (Açorda à Alentejana) Recipe

Loaded with chorizo, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil, this satisfying soup transforms stale bread into a delicious meal. Photograph: Daniel Gritzer. Video: Serious Eats Video.

Sort of like congee, but from Portugal and made with stale bread instead of rice, this deeply satisfying soup (it's really more like a porridge), is rich with garlic, olive oil, cilantro, chorizo, and a softly poached egg.

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How to Poach Eggs

Why this recipe works:

  • Cooking the chorizo in olive oil that's later used in the soup not only creates a crispy chorizo garnish, but also infuses the entire soup with the flavor of chorizo.
  • Adding a serrano chili to the aromatics adds a faint, pleasant chili heat to the dish.

Note: The exact amount of liquid you will need to add to the bread and the time it will take to break down will vary depending on the type of bread and how stale it is.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 4 ounces dry-cured Spanish style chorizo, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

  • 6 medium cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 small serrano chile, minced

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, minced and divided, plus leaves for garnish

  • 2 cups chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth

  • 8 cups cubed or torn stale Portuguese bread or baguette, with crust

  • Water

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 large foolproof poached eggs or sous-vide poached eggs (optional)

  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisped, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to a plate and set aside.

  2. Add onion, garlic, and serrano chili to same Dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add two-thirds of cilantro and cook, stirring, until onions are lightly golden, about 3 minutes longer.

  3. Add stock to pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in bread and cook, adding water as needed 1/2 cup at a time and stirring occasionally, until bread has absorbed all liquid and has almost completely broken down into a porridge-like texture, about 30 minutes. Stir in remaining minced cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spoon bread soup into bowls, top each with a poached egg, if using, along with sliced scallions, cilantro leaves, and crisped chorizo. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

Special Equipment

Dutch oven, slotted spoon

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
573 Calories
25g Fat
67g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 573
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 31%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 1149mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 473mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)