Have you ever eaten at one of those finer ‘soup- to-nuts’ restaurants; with the white linen tablecloths and more glassware and silverware on the table then you have total at your family holiday dinner? Usually sometime during your dining experience you will invariably be served that clear brothy soup that at first glance – well looks, bland. You take that first obligatory sip and suddenly your taste buds explode with a plethora of flavors! How can such a simple soup have all that un-simple flavor? Well I got my answer after being a guest to a “prepper-dinner” at the home of my dear friend, Grannie Pam.
Before the main dish was served, Pam served one of those brothy soups to everyone. As I dipped my soup spoon down into the bowl I could already smell the flavors wafting up to my nose before the soup even reached my lips. “Hmmmm. What is this?” I asked after my first bite. The flavors in the soup were unbelievable. The kind that leaves you making those yummy sounds with every bite.
“It’s called garlic açorda” (pronounced a-sorta). It’s a Portuguese bread soup.” However, the ‘bread soup’ part fell on deaf-ear as the table guests erupted in a round of creative phrases using the word açorda (who says preppers don’t have fun!) Raining her guests back in, Pam explained that the Portuguese would take stale or left over bread; add some herbs, spices, seasonings and broth and turn it into a meal. But not just a meal as in food in your stomach but a meal that left you trying to scoop up every last bit and even picking up the bowl and drinking it to get the last drop (yes I did.)
Pam reminded us that if we ever found ourselves in an end-of-the-world -as-we- know-it scenario, after a while we may run out of our commercial foods and have to use what food is left to make a meal. By knowing how to add herbs, spices, seasonings and oils we can create “big flavor” foods and great survival meals.
Take the garlic açorda Pam served. It was made of chicken broth, crushed garlic cloves, salt and parsley, stale bread fried up in olive oil and a poached egg. Pretty simple ingredients, huh? And yet the flavors in this soup are out of this world; with the bread staying nice and crunchy – not soggy. All you need to do it take four slices of “ready to be fed to the ducks” bread and rub them with a cut garlic clove and fry them up in olive oil. Then cut each piece of bread in two and place the pieces in four bowls. Boil 4.5 cups of chicken stock (or bouillon). With a mortar and pestle crush some garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and parsley all together and place this mixture equally on the bread pieces. Poach four eggs and place them on top of the garlic/parsley bread. Pour chicken broth over the bread/poach egg and enjoy an awesome survival meal out of your food stores!
Pam reminded us that food fatigue is going to be a huge problem for a lot of us if we don’t plan ahead and learn how to make flavorful meals – one of the main reasons for writing her second book, “Grannie Pam’s Prepping with BIG FLAVORS” - is to show people that how to make their own prepackaged foods by making home canned soups, stews and homemade mixes using herbs, spices and seasoning to eat with “Big Flavors”.
Oh and to answer your question, the recipe for the garlic açorda (bread soup) is on page 120 of “Grannie Pam’s Prepping with BIG FLAVORS”.
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