A soup you can share, anyone? This is porra from southern Spain - a cold soup and culinary cousin of gazpacho that’s so thick you can stand a spoon up in it!
Have you ever heard of a soup tapa?! Introducing the porra antequerana, a cold soup so thick that you can actually stand your spoon up in it! The name denotes both its origin - the city of Antequera in Málaga, southern Spain - and its historical context. The porra is a utensil similar to a pestle that was used in days of old by the country folk to grind together the ingredients.
Many compare porra antequerana to its culinary cousins, gazpacho or salmorejo, as these are all cold, tomato based soups. But this one is definitely more filling, thanks to its simple, hearty recipe - a pot of porra antequerana will contain over two pounds of tomatoes, then a pound of breadcrumbs, plus green and red bell peppers, garlic and salt. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and vinagre de Jerez are added to balance the texture of the soup, plus the toppings for contrast. Traditionally porra antequerana is topped with either diced jamón serrano and crumbled hard boiled egg or canned tuna in oil. They say that the soup reaches the right consistency when you can stand a spoon up in it. See, we weren’t joking about that!
Thanks to its spoonable quality, the porra is therefore a soup to share, making it a very interesting cold starter for tapas night with friends. Pairing soup with wine becomes easier when it has this thicker texture, so pick something from the same region that will bring out the flavor characteristics of the fresh ingredients. A moscatel wine from Sierra de Málaga D.O. is fragrant and dry but fruity, making a great accompaniment to the porra antequerana. Another choice pairing for this cold soup on a hot day - the light and hoppy Alhambra lager of Granada.
We know by now that eating raw is a healthy custom that stretches way back in Mediterranean cuisine, so isn’t it time you added the porra and Spain's cold soups to your menu?