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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sopa de Milagros (Spanish Garlic Soup of Miracles)

Feel a cold coming on? Coughing? Sneezing? Does your throat hurt?
I have the cure!  OK, maybe not a cure but  it is a heck of a home remedy! And if you're not cured, it is still so delicious and so warming that you can't help but feel better.

Rugged and breathtaking Basque coastlline
 I found out about Sopa de Milagros  (Soup of Miracles) many years ago when I was visiting my wonderful friend Rocio, comadre mia,  in the Basque Country (aka Euskadi or el País Vasco) in northern Spain. She told me about a soup that her father-in-law, Anastasio Lasuen, made when family members were sick.  His remedy was called Sopa de Milagros, and that it really was a miracle if you have aches and pains, or a fever, or you are congested.  I asked her what was so great about it and she simply answered 'it works',  hence the name, Sopa de Milagros. It's one of the many wonders of the beautiful, mountainous, wooded area that reaches well into France (Pays Basque).

Historically Sopa de Milagros is a peasant dish. Like so many other
peasant dishes it is delicious and it has a purpose.  Now people take things like Garlique for good health, but I'll take this super flavorful Basque cure-all any day.  And for those of you who combine the well known Eastern European Jewish cure-all, chicken soup, with the Basque cure-all. what could be bad?

Because this was a peasant dish, Sopa de Milgagros was often sauteed garlic with a soup base of water poured over the toasted bread.  On a good the egg was added.  On a great day the base was made from chicken carcass.

Today, it still works!  My family loves it, my friends love it.  When anyone who knows me is sick, they ask for Sopa de Milagros.  And if you live in New York and make it, your whole floor has the wonderful fragrance of sauteed garlic, so if you're going on a date, or having guests, make sure they have some too.

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