Official Journal of the European Union

C 70/23

Publication of an application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

(2022/C 70/08)

This publication confers the right to oppose the application pursuant to Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) within three months from the date of this publication.


‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’

EU No: TSG-PT-02627 – 6 August 2020

Member State or third country: Portugal

1.   Name to be registered

‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’

2.   Type of product

Class 2.21. prepared meals.

3.   Grounds for the registration

3.1.   Whether the product: (check boxes ☒, ☐)

results from a mode of production, processing or composition corresponding to traditional practice for that product or foodstuff;

is produced from raw materials or ingredients that are those traditionally used.

The name ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ is sometimes misused, i.e. internet searches sometimes produce recipes that cover a wide range of versions of ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ made using beef, carrots and cabbage, which are not included in the genuine recipe for ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’, to which those ingredients do not belong.

Thus, when the name ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ is used, it refers to a specific product, made with certain ingredients (and only those ingredients) complying with both the product specification and the particular production method.

3.2.   Whether the name:

has been traditionally used to refer to the specific product;

identifies the traditional character or specific character of the product.

The name ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ is still in use and is referred to in various books mentioned in point 4.3.

Already a typical soup in Almeirim for several centuries, the commercial presentation of this dish as ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ to a much wider public began in 1960, when a restaurant started preparing and offering the soup under that name. Due to its physical characteristics, given that the soup is chunky, reddish-brown and contains many ingredients, it was compared to the stones that still pave many of the streets in the old part of Almeirim. Thus, it became known as ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’.

4.   Description

4.1.   Description of the product to which the name under point 1 applies, including its main physical, chemical, microbiological or organoleptic characteristics showing the product’s specific character (Article 7(2) of this Regulation)

‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ is a speciality made from vegetables, in particular beans and potatoes, and pork meat (trotters, cheek, bacon and sausages).

Physical characteristics

‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ is a thick and chunky soup, owing to the presence of ingredients such as beans, potatoes and sausages. These physical characteristics serve as the inspiration for the dish’s name, as they are reminiscent of the stones that pave Almeirim’s oldest streets.

Table I sets out the main physical parameters and the respective ranges for the main ingredients:


Parameter (average values)



Size (cm)


Dried pinto beans

1,0 – 2,0



0,5 – 3,0


Pork: trotters and/or cheek

1,0 – 3,0

These may be front or hind trotters


Thickness (mm)


Sausage: chouriço and morcela

4,0 – 10,0


Sausage: farinheira

5,0 – 12,0


Organoleptic characteristics

The soup is reddish-brown in colour, interspersed with uneven chunks of its various ingredients, among which sausages, meat, potatoes and coriander.

The beans produce a sort of ‘cream’ that thickens the broth and produces a concentrate, and the small cubes of potato also give the soup a thicker consistency.

‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ is a thick soup. The pork meat makes it creamy and the smooth combination of beans and potato gives it a velvety texture. It has a strong, balanced flavour due to the pork meat and the sausages. There are also hints of spice, such as cloves and cumin, from the morcela sausage, and sweet pepper/paprika from the chouriço. The addition of fresh coriander imparts a certain freshness to the soup.

The soup is a distinctive combination of these flavours and textures, marked by spicy notes from the sausages and the pork, and a freshness due to the addition of fresh coriander.

4.2.   Description of the production method of the product to which the name under point 1 applies that the producers must follow including, where appropriate, the nature and characteristics of the raw materials or ingredients used, and the method by which the product is prepared (Article 7(2) of this Regulation)

Raw materials

The raw materials and additional ingredients used to make ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ are as follows (for a quantity of 50 litres):

Dried pinto beans (6 to 8 kg)

Pork chouriço (1,4 to 2,1 kg)

Morcela blood sausage (1,4 to 2,1 kg)

Farinheira sausage (1,35 to 2,25 kg)

Pork trotters and/or cheek (15 to 25 kg)

Cured bacon (0,5 to 1,5 kg)

Potato (15 to 25 kg)

Onion (2,5 to 5 kg)

Fresh coriander – before and after cooking (30 to 150 g)

Garlic (250 to 500 g)

Bay leaf (10 to 30 dried bay leaves)

Pepper (15 to 25 g)

Paprika (30 to 150 g) and/or red pepper paste (200 to 350 g)

Olive oil (1 to 2,5 l) and/or lard (200 to 400 g)

Water (enough to make the indicated quantity of soup)

Salt, to taste

Preparation – approximately 30 to 60 minutes

The trotters are salted the previous day, and then rinsed immediately before cooking to remove the excess salt. Similarly, the dried beans must be soaked in advance or, alternatively, rinsed with water before being put in the pot. The onions and garlic are finely chopped. The potatoes are diced.

Cooking – approximately 2 to 4 hours

First of all, water is added to the pot, together with the beans, onion, garlic, paprika and/or red pepper paste, pepper, bay leaves and, if being used, other seasonings such as coriander, olive oil or lard (not necessarily in that order). The ingredients are put in the pot cold, without being fried.

Next, the trotters, cheeks, bacon and sausages are added. The farinheira sausages can be added at a later stage, when the trotters and pinto beans are almost cooked. Some cooks even prefer to cook them separately, to prevent them from splitting.

When everything is cooked, the meat and sausages are removed. Once cooled, these are cut into small pieces and slices, respectively.

The potatoes, cut into small irregular cubes, are then added to the broth, which is still simmering in the pot. At this point, the seasonings can be adjusted, if necessary. Once the potatoes have cooked, the heat is turned off. The soup should be left to stand so that the beans produce their ‘cream’ and thicken the broth. The potato should also have started to disintegrate, such that the edges of the small irregular cubes become rounded, which also helps to thicken the broth. This ensures that all the ingredients combine well and produce a smooth, velvety soup.

4.3.   Description of the key elements establishing the product’s traditional character (Article 7(2) of this Regulation)

The origins of ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’, before it was known by that name, go back to the traditional dishes of the local farmers in this agricultural region on the banks of the river Tagus.

Subsistence farming was of particular importance in this region, as the area was used as a game reserve for the recreation of the King and his court, meaning that local people were not allowed to hunt. As a result, vegetables grown in kitchen gardens and home-reared pigs, which were killed in winter and all parts of which were used, were crucial to the survival of the population.

It is precisely these which constituted the ingredients of the famous ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’, even if the recipe might differ from one family to another. The people grew beans and potatoes, and pork meat was preserved in salting tubs and used for sausages. As a rule, these were the products that formed the basis of the region’s traditional soup, which was very nutritious and ideal for providing the strength needed for heavy agricultural work. Also, because it was rich, containing pork, bacon and sausages, it was considered to be a complete meal. ‘This recipe, of popular origin, is an integral part of the popular culture of Almeirim’ says local historian Eurico Henriques, also municipal councillor of Almeirim responsible for culture.

It was only much later, in the early 1960s (six decades), that the soup became known as ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’. The popularity of this local speciality grew in large part thanks to the small grocery store run by the fishmonger José Manuel ‘Toucinho’ and his wife Maria Manuela Aranha, born in 1912 and considered the ‘mother of sopa da pedra’, whose mother Mariana was making this meat and bean soup long before 1960 [see: Morreu a Mãe da Sopa da Pedra - YouTube, posted on 4 May 2009].

According to family history, this store in the old part of the town used to cater to travelling salesmen, who would stop off in the neighbourhood to sell their wares and recover their strength for the rest of their journey. Here they would try some of the regional dishes which the family prepared. The local soup of beans, potatoes and sausages was a constant on the menu, and a firm favourite among the travellers. Hélia Costa, daughter of the couple who founded the grocery store and later the restaurant, recounts: ‘These salesmen were also our suppliers, people we knew well. One day, one of them came to eat, and my mother served him a soup from a recipe that my grandparents used to make. He enjoyed it so much that he wanted to bring some friends to try it. But as other soups were made here, in order to be able to identify this specific recipe, he said: “It’s that dark, heavy soup, which looks like the stones in the street”, referring to the area’s cobbled streets. There are still many such cobbled streets around here.’

The name it was given, inspired by the stones paving the oldest streets in this town in the Ribatejo, became the commercial name for a traditional rustic soup which, by word of mouth, gained fame and attracted visitors to the town, who came there just to try it. The small grocery store would give rise, in 1962, to the restaurant renowned as ‘the pioneer of Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’. Over the years, other restaurants opened their doors and started making ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ in accordance with local recipes, and this culinary activity steadily grew in importance.

Included in Teófilo Braga’s Contos Tradicionais do Povo Português [Traditional Folk Tales from Portugal] (1883), the legend has it that it all began with a friar who cleverly tricked a naive farmer into believing that he made a tasty soup from a stone he was carrying in his pocket. Potatoes, beans and sausages were added to the stone to make the soup. Through the association of the name ‘Sopa da Pedra’ with the soup described in the story, and the similarity of its ingredients with those of the Almeirim soup, fact and fiction soon became conflated. This became an advertisement that helped to popularise the real ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’. As visitors to restaurants often asked for the stone, it became commonplace to add one to the tureen before serving.

The renown of ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ has spread throughout the country, and even abroad, thanks to the Confraria Gastronómica de Almeirim [Almeirim Gastronomic Society], whose purpose is to disseminate and preserve the cultural, historical, ethnographic and culinary heritage of this municipality in the Ribatejo. ‘Of all the typical recipes of Almeirim, the Sopa da Pedra clearly stands out. We travel all over the country to promote it, and have already spread the word in countries such as Spain, France, Belgium and Hungary’ says Rui Figueiredo, the Grand Master of the Society, which, since 2013, has organised the annual ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ festival.

This traditional speciality is so closely associated with Almeirim, its place of origin, that over the years ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ has been touted as a major culinary icon, one of Portugal’s best-known specialities on television programmes dedicated to national cuisine (RTP, 2009, 7 Maravilhas da Gastronomia| Sopa da Pedra| Reportagem; RTP Memória, 2017, Horizontes da Memória, Sopa da Pedra, Almeirim, 1999; TV4Ribatejo, 2009, Morreu a Mãe da Sopa da Pedra).

Key figures in the preservation and dissemination of national dishes, such as Maria de Lourdes Modesto, have included ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’ among their popular recipes since the 1960s [Modesto, M.L. (1982), Cozinha Tradicional Portuguesa [Traditional Portuguese Cuisine], Verbo, Lisbon, first edition].

The annual Sopa da Pedra festival, held every year since 2013, has already become a key event in the town’s cultural life and brings in thousands of visitors. With the support of the municipal council, this event is promoted by the Almeirim Gastronomic Society, which was established with the aim of promoting the typical local fare, and in particular ‘Sopa da Pedra de Almeirim’.

(1)  OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1.