This post was written by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy.
Two weeks is Pentecost, which for the Portuguese is also time for Holy Ghost Sopas!
If you live anywhere near a Portuguese community you know what I am talking about. All over the country there are huge festas that the Portuguese Americans host and each one of these you are going to find Sopas.
The best recipe for Holy Ghost Sopas I have found is in the cookbook: Foods of the Azores Islands by Deolinda Maria Avila. This is not easy to get your hands on but it is very worth it. There are some great holiday foods in here, which often have religious significance.
As for the sopas!
4 lbs chuck roast
1 small onion minced
10 cups of water
1 Tablespoon pickling spices
½ cinnamon stick (we don’t use this)
½ cup (red) wine
1 can tomato sauce (she calls for 1/3 cup)
1 cabbage head (I use 2)
1 loaf of French Bread (Yeah right, you are going to want more of this, it is the best part!!)
Fresh mint sprigs
Bring water to boil and add meat and spices tied in a cheesecloth or in a tea ball. Cook about three hours until meat is tender. Cut cabbage into fourths and add to pot. Cook for about 15 more minutes.
Meanwhile, slice bread and place in 9x13 pans. On top of bread place mint springs. You don’t need a lot, just a few two or three per 9x13 inch pan.
When meat and cabbage is done, remove tea ball and pour broth over bread. Serve with meat and cabbage.
Now, some people might think… wet bread?? Oh yeah! I couldn’t believe it either the first time I tried it, but honestly that is the yummiest part. You will start stalking Portuguese people trying to find out when the local festas are!