Paraguay: Paraguayan soup recipe (sopa Paraguaya)
- Cuisine: Paraguyan
Photo by Juliana Vazquez
Santiago Mandelburger is a homecook who is passionate about both football and Paraguayan cuisine.
How has your heritage affected your cooking?
My heritage defines my cooking, not just affects it. What I mean is, I cook how I learned from my mother and grandmother and others in Paraguay. Here, I just had to pick the right ingredients that are very easy to find in a very multi-cultural country like Australia.
Why is this dish representative of Paraguayan cuisine?
Despite its name “Sopa paraguaya” (Paraguayan soup), this recipe is not a soup. It is actually a hearty cornbread, flavored with cheese and onions. In Paraguay it is traditionally served as an accompaniment to soups and with our famous “asado” (barbecue).
The story I was told from its origin, is that in a very important dinner 200 years ago, due to a cook's distraction, the soup dried-out. Since then it was served as a side dish and it is one of our most traditional dishes.
How closely will you be following the World Cup?
We shall watch all Paraguayan matches, plus most of other contenders like Australia, Brazil, Spain, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.
Is food or football more important to Paraguayan people?
Both, in the same level. Most probably Paraguayan people will watch Football just after the food or even during the food to keep it even.
This interview is part of a series on chefs representing each of the countries in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. More interviews.
Ingredients8 tablespoons butter (one can use olive oil instead)
1 or 2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 cup farmer cheese or cottage cheese
1 cup grated tasty cheese or mozzarella cheese
1 and 1/2 cups cornmeal or fine polenta
1 can corn kernels, and 1 can cream-style corn
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
PreparationHeat half the butter in a skillet and cook the onions over moderate heat until tender but not brown. Set aside.
Beat the eggs all together for two minutes.
Pour the remaining melted batter, onions, cornmeal with the eggs and mix thoroughly.
Pour corn, cream style corn, salt, milk with the previous mix, and mix thoroughly.
Finally pour the Farmer's or Cottage cheese and the Tasty or Mozzarella cheese, mix until thoroughly combined.
Pour some batter into a greased and floured 10 inch by 13 inch (25 cm x 30 cm) baking pan and bake in a preheated 400F (200°C) oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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