[WATCH] Soppa tal-armla (Widow’s soup)

Watch Pippa Mattei make a soppa tal-armla with loads of seasonal vegetables and poached eggs and gbejniet. 

Watch Pippa Mattei make a soppa tap-armla or widow's soup

Soppa tal-armla (Widow’s soup)


Serves 6-8

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled
  • 2 potatoes, peeled
  • 1kg fresh spinach, cleaned
  • ¼ medium cabbage
  • ½ cauliflower
  • 1 small lettuce
  • 1 small endive (indivia)
  • 1 kohlrabi (gidra), peeled
  • 1 handful fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (kunserva tat-tadam)
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 stick young celery
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • Sprinkling of Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh gbejniet or soft cheese like ricotta
  • 1 egg per person


  1. Clean and prepare all the vegetables, and chop them roughly.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot, then add all the chopped vegetables, and cook stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are soft (about 5 mins). 
  3. Add salt and pepper and the tomato puree, stock cubes and enough water to cover. 
  4. Bring to the boil, then lower heat, and simmer gently with lid on pan for about 45 mins until all the vegetables are well cooked.
  5. Before serving this soup, poach an egg per person in the soup, together with the gbejniet or ricotta. 
  6. Carefully spoon these into individual soup plates, then spoon the soup over these, adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

More of Pippa Mattei’s recipes are available in her books Pippa’s Festa and 25 Years in a Maltese Kitchen.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 20 February, 2015.