Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sopa Paraguaya

Photo taken by my daughter, Jackie McCobb
FJ said...

What's good eating in Paraguay? Any dishes in particular? (What can I say, it's lunch time here and I'm hungry...)



One of my favorite dishes here is known as Sopa (soup) Paraguaya but this soup is eaten with a fork or even your hands! Sopa Paraguaya is a type of corn bread made with a white cheese and is delicious, at least to someone who was raised on southern cooking! Cheesy corn bread! What is not to like?

This seems to be the most authentic recipe I have found for using non Paraguayan ingredients to make Sopa Paraguaya.

Of course, if you have an inquiring mind, like mine, you want to know how a dish of corn bread came to be called 'SOUP'! I have asked this question of many of my Paraguayan friends and I have received almost as many answers as people!

The basic element to each story is that an important individual was fond of the corn meal soup made by the Guarani indians. This mush had been altered to include cheese and milk once the Spaniards arrived and introduced dairy products to the indians.

This particular individual asked his cook to prepare his soup. She did so and placed the pan in an earthen oven called a tatakua. These are still used today and can be found in many back yards. The cook seems to have forgotten her soup was in the oven and over cooked it to the point of it solidifying into a cake like texture. Upon trying the dish, the gentleman found he preferred the cake-like soup and named it Sopa Paraguaya.

If you are familiar with the Paraguayan sense of humor, you can see how quickly such a name would catch on!

13 comments:

firepig said...

Sounds tasty !

Here in the South we eat cornbread in Milk( crumble in) , grits, sweet and salty cornbread, hush puppies, hoe cakes etc., but an excellent Italian restaurant in town serves something almost like Sopa Paraguaya as an appetizer.Very nice.

These little anecdotes are priceless.

Debbie said...

This looks delicious and I'm gonna try it. I'm a Texas gal by birth and raisins' and cornbread was a staple at out house. This looks like new and improved cornbread. YES! I sure enjoy your posts.
Please visit me when you can...
Debbie

William said...

Sounds pretty awesome... sadly, cornbread in our house never contains cheese, since two of my older siblings are allergic to wheat and dairy. Oh well.

FJ said...

When is a soup not a soup? When it's a cake in Paraguay, of course!

Betty said...

I love a good sopa too, but must admit I´ve never made it yet.
Will have to look at that recipe you provided.
Again, I learned something I didn´t know, like where the name came from!

Brooke said...

I will have to try that; it looks delicious!

Gringo said...

I make my own version of Sopa Paraguaya in a bread machine. Instead of bell peppers, I add a mixture of chopped up raw jalapenos "cooked" by soaking in vinegar for a while. I throw in some spices with the sauteed onion: paprika, mint, coriander, allspice. Whatever. Also garlic. I replace some of the cornmeal with soy flour. I usually do not add cheese: the soy flour substitutes for the protein in the cheese.

It is close to a complete meal. Add some fruit for dessert. Yerba mate for those so inclined.

Brenda said...

Its a delicious mistake, but the name is a little confusing when you first get to Paraguay

groovyoldlady said...

Ironically I just made a sweet cornbread for supper today and served it with cheese. I've copied your Paraguayan version and will try it next...

MightyMom said...

gotta try that!! I'll take sweet cornbread just about anyway!
my favorite is this dish called "the special" at a holeinthewall place in Shreveport called Crawdaddy's. it's worth a trip to S'port just to get a Crawdaddy's special I'm tellin ya.

it's sweet cornbread with onion, bell pepper and crawfish....and SMOTHERED in just about the best crawfish etoufee' you're gonna find outside my step-mom's kitchen!!!

oh MAN!!.

I think I see a trip to La in my future! you done thrown a cravin on me.

The Hermit said...

That certainly looks good. I love cornbread.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the recipe! I don't have one yet so I haven't tried making it, but I have tried the recipe I wrote down when I watched my mother-in-law's friend make Chipa Guazu--it's actually quite nice with mozzaralla cheese since I can't find the other kind. I haven't gotten the right consistency, but we like it and that's the important thing! :) If you find a good recipe for that, let me know. Thanks!

theotherryan said...

You got me at cheesy cornbread.