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Garlic and Cilantro Soup with Chickpeas (Açorda Alentejana)

4 Servings

20 minutes

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This soup, with its fragrant, bright green broth, is our take on Portuguese açorda alentejana. Soft-cooked eggs are a perfect garnish that also turn the soup into a complete meal. To soft-cook eggs, bring 2 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add the eggs, cover and steam over medium for 7 minutes. Immediately transfer to ice water to stop the cooking.




Don't skimp on the olive oil in this soup. The croutons absorb oil as they toast and the broth takes on a rich, creamy texture when the pesto is stirred in.

20 minutes


  • 2

    cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped

  • ½

    ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (¼ cup), plus more to serve


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Sarah T.
February 1, 2024
Perfect for a cold winter evening
This soup is comforting, flavorful, and filling. It will definitely go into the rotation of winter soups. We found it took much longer than the 20 minutes posted, mainly because of the toasting of the bread section. Next time I'm going to toast the bread in the oven while we prepare the soup and that should bring the time down to about 20-25m. Delicious! (Oh and agree: don't skip the egg!)
Nicola S.
September 12, 2023
Whole new genre of soup
So easy, so delicious. Made more of the herb mixture to freeze and now can pull this soup out any time. Can't believe how quick it is.
Nicholas D.
August 1, 2023
Super tasty!
Great balance and flavor. I'm not sure I would use more than a quart of chicken stock for this. The cilantro/jalapeno pesto was awesome. I was going to serve with naan bread but ended up making croutons with it and it added a lot of flavor. The egg added the richness needed for the dish. Totally quick and easy weeknight meal. A total keeper.
Pamela K.
January 17, 2023
Seriously one of the best soups I have ever had! I held off on putting the bread in it and had a piece of toasted gf flatbread on the side. It would be an easy recipe to make gf and dairy free.
Jon S.
January 13, 2023
The idea of wet cilantro isn't necessarily appealing on its face, but good lord, was this ever good. Turned out to be a couple more servings for us, so I think I'll make six eggs next time. There will definitely be a next time!
Kim G.

Just made this last night, and it was DELICIOUS. One serving fills you up too, nice and hearty. Recipe is perfect.

Bodi L.

This was amazing. Made with homemade chicken broth and homemade no-knead bread, and smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika. I thought the pesto was too salty, but it balanced out nicely once I added it to the soup.

James H.

Way too spicy! Guess I should've seeded the jalapeno but since it only called for one I thought it would be fine. Added another quart of chicken stock and more beans to tone it down a little.

Anne H.

I have made this recipe twice, and it has been a hit each time. It’s a quick recipe, but don’t let that trick you into thinking it will lack depth or flavor. This soup is balanced, rustic, filling, and a delight on a cold winter day. The first time I made this, I used fresh store-bought baguette, which worked nicely in a pinch. The second time, I used homemade two day-old sourdough, and it made the soup much more rustic, especially the crispy edge bits. I did not discard any jalapeño seeds and found the soup to be appropriate in its spiciness (light-medium). If you are especially intolerant of capsaicin, removing the seeds will help, but do not skip the jalapeño.

Tricia S.

Delicious, delicious. I used homemade bread that was getting a wee bit stale. But altogether, it took way more than the suggested prep time. I strongly recommend the steamed, soft-cooked egg. So much flavor in the whole dish!

Andrea A.

One of the tastiest, most comforting soups I’ve had. It’s hearty but the pesto adds a bright freshness. The croutons, Parmesan and jammy egg are the perfect accoutrements. Definitely going into my regular rotation!!

Elsie H.

The soup I most want to make when I have homemade chicken stock, it is a green gem.!.
From the first time to last it is an unforgettable delight.