Lavadas – a refreshing soup from Alentejo

After many years picking on a good friend about his passion for “Lavadas”, the hot temperatures outside made me give it a try! I called my friend for his mother’s recipe, and he couldn’t believe it. You can imagine it after 15 years on saying no, he thought it was a joke.
And why was I so reluctant to make this recipe? Well, it leaves you with a strong garlic breath for hours. Not the most desired “side effect” right?
The good side is that is one of the most refreshing dishes you can eat on a very hot summer day, Alentejo is the driest and hottest region of Portugal and on the peek of the summer you can get 40ºC/45ºC easily, they know what hot truly means (Portuguese standards).


This recipe is from Serpa (in Alentejo), however it’s known on other villages as Gazpacho or “Vinagrada” just by adding a few more ingredients.
In Serpa this soup is served with fried fish (sardines or mackerel) or roasted codfish.

You only need a few basic ingredients, for 1 person:
2 Tomatoes
1 or 2 Garlic cloves (use two if you really enjoy the garlic flavour)
Olive Oil
Cold water
3 to 4 slices of bread (Alentejo’s Bread)

1. Leave the water in the freezer for 2 hours at least
2. Peel the garlic cloves
3. Crush the garlic cloves with the salt, add a few olive oil drops to help form the mixture
4. Dice the tomato
5. Slice the bread (thin) – I have cut it in squares so that the children could eat it more easily.
6. Assembling the soup: start by placing the garlic and salt mixture at the bottom of the bowl, add the slices of bread, add the tomato.
7. Drizzle with olive oil to your taste
8. Add the water until the ingredients are covered.
As I’m a big fan of corianders, I added some fresh corianders to mine as you can see by the photos.

Bom Proveito! (Enjoy it!)

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