GAPS Maltese “Widow’s” Soup

Every so often you come across a recipe that changes your repertoire; a bright star against the galaxy of so many average meals.  It’s delicious, easy to make, not too expensive and healthy and before you know it, you’re making it every few weeks and you have the ingredient list saved to memory.  The Maltese dish Soppa Tal Armla was one such dish for me.

I was watching Food Safari do Maltese on SBS one night and saw them prepare this soup. The name literally translates to “widow’s soup” and is so named because it contains no meat, only cheese and beans as proteins.  Presumably in ye olde Malta, widow’s couldn’t afford a bit of meat or fish, not even soup making quality, but she could afford some cracking Maltese cheese.

My version deviates quite a lot from the original recipe, in particular I have added (gasp!) meat and I have sadly had to omit the cheese.  *sad face*  Although the intrinsic flavour of the soup remains through the base ingredients, I feel it’s hardly fair to call it “widow’s soup” when this is clearly the meaty soup of a married (or de facto) woman.  As such, not speaking enough (ok, any) Maltese to change the title to that, I’ve simply dubbed it Maltese soup or, “soppa tal Malta”.

Soppa Tal Malta
(suitable for GAPS Intro Stage 5)


  • 1 Tbsp butter/ghee
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 carrots, peeled & diced
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup peas
  • ½ a cauliflower cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 200g finely shredded chicken (I use the meat I strip off the carcass after making the stock)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Heat butter and ghee in a soup tureen over med-low heat until ghee is liquid
  2. Add onion and fry until clarified
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (only a few seconds, usually)
  4. Add stock, tomato paste, carrots, kohl rabi, cauliflower, peas, parsley and seasoning
  5. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  6. Add chicken and cook until warm
  7. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley (I like to stir in some sauerkraut for good measure too, those are the purple pieces you can see in the image)

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