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My Mother’s Kitchen – Paz and Lila’s sopa


by Lila Manzanares

WALSENBURG- This recipe is well known among the Hispanic cultures.  Everyone may make it a little different by adding  or taking away some of the ingredients. My recipe came from my great-grandmother Paz (Vigil) Pacheco who then passed it on to my grandmother Ruby (Pacheco) Arellano.  Grandma gave my mother Neomi (Arellano) Garcia the recipe and she taught my sister and I how to make it.  There was never an exact recipe that we followed, so my sister Orvilla and I decided to make the delicious dessert and write down all the ingredients.  No one ever used recipes in the old days.  A little here and a little there was all they ever did when they cooked.  I still do this today.

This dessert is served with real cream topping.  Back then there was no whipped cream in cans or the freezer.  Growing up, we had cows on the farm (six miles west of Walsenburg), so cream was always available for desserts or butter.  Grandma Ruby made butter all the time.  Anyway, this is how our family makes sopa.


Lila’s Sopa

(Mexican Bread Pudding)

•    1 loaf white bread

(2-3 days old)

•    1 1/2 cups white sugar

•    7 sweet apples (peeled         and sliced thin)

•    3/4 lb. of longhorn         colby cheese (sliced thin     or shredded)

•    1 cube butter (sliced  thin)

•     cinnamon (to your liking)

•    1 cup raisins (optional)

•    3/4 cup pinons or

walnuts (optional)

(Some people don’t like or can’t have raisins or nuts, but I always put them in my sopa.)

In a 9X13 pan, layer six slices of bread, sprinkle 1/2 C. sugar and cinnamon, and layers of butter, apples, raisins, nuts and cheese.  Do a second and third layer the same way.  Then pour syrup (recipe below) over all the layers.


•    1 1/2 cups white sugar

•    1 1/2 tsp vanilla

•    3 cups warm water

In a cast iron skillet cook on medium heat until golden brown.  Slowly add warm water and vanilla and simmer for 15 minutes.  Pour over bread pudding.

Bake at  350° for 35 minutes.  Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or cream topping.     Serves 12.

I tried this with Splenda and it is very good.  Be patient when you brown the Splenda for the syrup (on low heat)- it takes time.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!


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