Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sopa Paraguaya and Bori Bori Soup -Olympic Food Challenge : Paraguay

Aaaaand... they are off! Both the women's football teams and the small army of insane food bloggers who signed up the the Olympic Food Challenge (We have our own hashtag for you twitter users (I refuse to say 'tweeps') which is #olympicfoodchallenge)

This is the first of the 19 dishes over 19 days that we will be blogging as part of the Olympic Food Challenge, and as we are Soup Tuesday, the first dish is from Paraguay and is, yes, you've guessed it, a soup... and something that sounds like a soup, but isn't...

Paraguay have a grand total of 8 Olympians competing in 6 sports, and have won a grand total of 1 medal in their Olympic history to date (A silver in the football in 2004, fact fans...)

You can keep an eye on Paraguay's progress here, and you can keep an eye on us as we attempt to cook our dishes without losing our minds here, don't forget to check back soon and see what we've been up to!

Sopa Paraguaya and Bori Bori Soup

This was actually my second attempt at making a soup from a Paraguayan recipe.  The first soup was the rather brilliantly named So'o Yo-sopy which resulted in a rare soup-fail and a cross Mr Soup (how can you screw up soup, I hear you ask.  Well this recipe involved making a sort of beef puree and letting it dissolve into beef stock until it becomes clear.  Paraguayan folk-lore says that the meat will separate from the stock if there is someone present in the kitchen who doesn't love cooking.  Well, there was only me in the kitchen, and the meat separated from the stock, leaving a horrible, gloopy mess, so the inescapable conclusion is that I just don't love cooking...)

So for the challenge, I made Bori Bori soup (Long time readers will recognise my dumpling obsession at work in this recipe) and Sopa Paraguaya, which seems to be the national dish of Paraguay, but is not, in fact, a soup at all,  although legend suggests that it's roots were in a soup that went terribly wrong and ended up as a sort of corn bread, which, as it turns out, makes a wonderful accompaniment to the Bori Bori soup.

You can find out more about Sopa Paraguaya on Wikipediea here

Bori Bori Soup
For the soup
400g Beef
1 Large Onion
1 Carrot
2 Stalks of Celery
2tsp Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
2tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley
1.2l Chicken Stock

For the dumplings
50g Cornmeal
50g Parmesan
40g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg
2tbsp Minced Spring Onions
Salt and Pepper
1tbsp Oil

1. Combine the ingredients for the dumplings in a mixing bowl and bring together until they form a solid dough-like mass.  You may need to add some water to get the mixture to stick, but add sparingly.

2. Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour before rolling out into dumplings

3. Cut the beef into 2cm cubes.  Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt, then brown in an heavy bottomed pan for about 5 minutes. Set aside and let drain

4. Put the stock into your soup pan, bring to the boil and then add the browned beef and bay leaf, reduce to a simmer and then cover and cook for 45 minutes, until the beef is tender

5. Cut the onion, celery and carrot into small cubes.  Fry for 5 minutes, until they become soft and start to colour.  Add these to the soup and cook for a further 30 minutes

6. Add the dumplings and allow to cook through, about 20 minutes, and then serve, garnished with flat leaf parsley

Sopa Paraguaya
1 Large Onion
75g Butter
150g Cottage Cheese
150g Mild Cheddar
300g Cornmeal
300g Sweetcorn
150ml Milk
4 Eggs

1.  Finely chop the onion.  Heat half the butter in a heavy frying pan and gently fry the onions until they are soft and starting to colour.  Take the pan off the heat and set aside

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the butter and the cottage cheese and mix thoroughly

3. Grate the cheddar and add that to the bowl, and then the cornmeal, milk, onions, a pinch of salt and the egg yolks (save the whites for the next step) and mix the lot 

4.  Whisk the egg whites until they start to get peaks, but not too stiff, and then fold this into the mixture

5.  Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray or cake tin and cook in a pre-heated oven at 200ºc for 55 minutes, or until a cocktail stick stuck in the middle comes out clean

6.  Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes on a baking rack and then slice and serve


  1. Wow, testing beforehand shows some foresight. I would probably tried to have winged it. Not sure what I'd have done with a disaster, mind you. Claimed I was going for reverse podium placement, probably

    1. I only did a test run because it sounded so odd! Its the only one I could be bothered to trial beforehand. Most of the rest are pretty traditional recipes...

  2. Mmmm, sounds yummy - loved all the extra facts as well :-)