It is truly emblematic of Portuguese cuisine, as it uses all of the ingredients available in order to waste no food.
- well-washed stone
- kidney beans or fresh
- pig’s ear (blanched and sliced thin)
- chouriço negro or firm type of blood sausage
- mixed meat chouriço or mediterranean smoked sausage
- pork belly, fatback or bacon
- potatoes, cubed
- onions, chopped
- garlic cloves
- bay leaf
- cilantro/coriander, chopped
- In a saucepan, boil the kidney beans with the pig’s ear, sausages, pork belly, onions, garlic and bay leaf in some water and add a well-washed stone. Season with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- If necessary, add more water while it’s boiling.
- Once the meat is cooked, take it out and reserve, then add the diced potatoes and cilantro to the pot.
- Let the potatoes cook on medium to high heat for about 30-35 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are well cooked, you can remove the pot from the heat, add the previously chopped meat back in and stir it well.
- Pour into bowls and serve.
A poor friar who was on a pilgrimage stopped in the village of Almeirim and knocked on the door of a house. He was too proud to beg for a bite to eat, so instead, he requested a large pot in which he could make “a delicious and filling…….stone soup”. With arched eyebrows and curious glances, the family invited him into their home and set up a large pot over flickering flames and filled with water. Slowly walking up to the ironclad cauldron, the friar reached into his deep pocket to produce a smooth and well-cleaned stone that he promptly dropped into the boiling water. A little while later he tasted the soup and said that it needed a touch of seasoning. So the wife brought him some salt to add, to which he suggested that maybe a little bit of chouriço (sausage), or pork belly, would be better. Graciously, she obliged and dropped several thick slices into the pot. Then, the friar asked if she might not have a little something to enrich the soup, such as potatoes or beans from a previous meal. With a broad smile, she agreed, and added a healthy portion into the bubbling water. This banter continued back and forth between the family and the friar before he finally announced that he had indeed made a very delicious and filling soup. When the soup was done, the friar fished the stone out of the pot, washed and dried it off, and plopped it back in his pocket for the next time.
- According to the people of Almeirim