Chef's Recipes

Sopa coàda

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for sopa coàda.

By Brigitte Hafner & Stefano De Pieri
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Sopa coàda
"This is Stefano's recipe for a soup that's more a casserole of bread soaked in delicious pigeon broth," says Hafner. 


  • 6 squab pigeons (about 500gm each)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 each carrot and celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig and a few sage leaves
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 2.5 litres butcher-quality chicken stock
  • 10 thick slices day-old rustic sourdough, halved
  • 170 gm finely grated parmesan
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Wash and pat dry the pigeons. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a casserole over low-medium heat and sauté onion until soft and translucent (10-15 minutes). Add carrot, celery, garlic and herbs, season with salt and stir until tender and golden (10-15 minutes). Set vegetables aside, add remaining oil and cook pigeons until golden (3-5 minutes). Add wine and simmer until liquid is reduced by half (4-8 minutes). Add stock, return vegetables to pan, cover and simmer over low heat until meat starts to fall off the bone (1-1½ hours). Transfer pigeons and half the vegetables to a plate and keep separate. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones. Add bones back to the pan and cook over medium-high until stock has reduced by half (35-45 minutes).
  • 2
    Strain stock through a sieve and press the vegetables with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible (discard remaining vegetables). Refrigerate until required. Skim fat from surface before using.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 140C. Line a deep casserole dish with a layer of bread, then top with half the pigeon meat and soffritto. Sprinkle generously with a third of the parmesan, then repeat, finishing with parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Pour 1.3 litres stock over, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, checking often and adding more stock if dry. Remove foil and bake until golden brown (30-40 minutes). Serve hot with a good drizzle of your best green extra-virgin olive oil.


Drink Suggestion: A rich old oloroso Sherry or perhaps even aged brandy. Drink suggestion by James Broadway