Holy Ghost Soup


Holy Ghost Soup

An exact recipe of the Holy Ghost Soup seen in Season two! The Holy Ghost Soup is also known as the Sopa do Espírito Santo, and is a tradition in the Feast of the Holy Spirit. Once the religious ceremony is held, the festivities and lunch begins. Everyone is invited to the table to join in the shared meal of this soup. This recipe is traditional to Ribeira Seca, São Jorge. For many Azoreans, it is a way to come together as one and unite in our roots.

Serves: 6-8


4 lb chuck roast and meat bones
1 head of cabbage (cut into quarters) 10 cups water
2 loaves day old bread
1 lb liver
1 minced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp ground allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp peppercorn
Mint to taste
Pinch of salt


You first want to cook your meat, plain, in the water over low/medium heat for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, you can remove the impurities that rose to the top then add your onions, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Once the meat is cooked and tender, you can remove it and add in your cabbage to cook for 15 minutes. In this version, the cabbage is cooked separately using the beef broth. The cabbage and beef will also be served separately. Before serving, make sure you strain the broth to ensure that no large spices make it into the soup. In a large serving soup tourine, you will layer your bread, add your broth, mint, and liver. When individually serving, you typically will serve yourself the soup mixture, and then add the beef and cabbage. Personally, I like adding my beef and cabbage right into the soup not on a a separate dish.  There’s no right or wrong!  Give the bread time soak it in the flavor before serving, but don’t let it absorb all the liquid.


Here are some tips to consider when making the recipe:

  1. Start with a good meat broth: The flavor of Holy Ghost soup largely depends on the quality of meat broth used. So, take your time to prepare a good, flavorful broth that will add depth and richness to the soup.
  2. Use fresh ingredients: Fresh ingredients like onions, garlic, and herbs will give your soup a bright, vibrant flavor. Avoid using dried herbs or spices as they may not be as flavorful.
  3. Let it cook slowly: To achieve the best results, it’s best to let the soup simmer slowly for at least an hour. This will allow the flavors to develop and the meat to become tender.
  4. Add liver for a traditional touch: Adding liver is a traditional way to make Holy Ghost soup, and it adds a rich, meaty flavor to the soup. Chop the liver into small pieces and sprinkle it on top of the soup before serving.
  5. Serve with bread: Holy Ghost soup is traditionally served with slices of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth. Make sure to have plenty of bread on hand for dipping.

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1 thought on “Holy Ghost Soup”

  1. Sandra Kotrba

    Oh my Gosh!! I haven’t had this soup for years and years. I never knew the name of it. It was one of my favorite soups that Mom made. I especially loved the mint she added. To this day, I love mint. I am going to tell my brother and sisters that I have found the recipe and will get together with them for a meal with this soup as the center of rememberances of our childhood.

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