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Portugese Sopas with French Bread ~ a Traditional Recipe

Updated on January 16, 2016
5 stars from 8 ratings of Sopas

A Celebration of my Heritage

Both of my parents were Portuguese, so we attended Festas Spring through Fall throughout California each year during my childhood and I continue to do so now with my family. The Festival of the Holy Spirit or Festa is a celebration of a tradition carried over by Portuguese immigrants. The Festival pays homage to Queen Isabel who would often sneak food to the poor. Although the celebrations can vary from weekends to weeks in each town, they are all to remember Queen Isabel and her kindness. A free meal of Sopas made by members of the Portuguese community who offer their services by donating the supplies and by doing all the cooking. The cooking starts in the wee hours of the morning in order to have enough to feed everyone who attends, Portuguese or not.

My Mother often made Sopas at home. Her is her recipe which I have used many times ♥

Place spices in cheesecloth or spice bag
Place spices in cheesecloth or spice bag
Tie spice bundle tight
Tie spice bundle tight
Add Mint bunch
Add Mint bunch
This photo was taken at St. Michaels Festa in Livermore California
This photo was taken at St. Michaels Festa in Livermore California


  • 3/4 container Pickling Spice, in spice bag
  • 5 Bay Leaves, in spice bag
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • Dash Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
  • 3 lbs. Stew Meat
  • 1 bunch Fresh Mint, tied into a bundle
  • 1 loaf French Bread, sliced
  • Water, to cover
  1. Boil meat till tender, reserving the liquid. Place all ingredients, but the Mint, into dutch oven/kettle. Fill with water until all is covered. Simmer 3-4 hours, covered.
  2. Add the tied bunch of Mint. Simmer 20 minutes more covered. Remove spice bundle and Mint bunch. Discard. Serve gravy and meat over sliced French Bread and enjoy!

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