A Recipe for Basque Aurrukutuna: Garlic and Codfish Soup

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A Recipe for Basque Aurrukutuna: Garlic and Codfish Soup
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 10 May, 2023

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to prepare a version of garlic soup that stands out for its fantastic taste as well as for its nutritional properties. It’s zurrukutuna, a Basque dish that’s prepared with cod which increases the contribution of proteins and essential fats in the dish.

Remember that it’s essential to include fish in your diet on a regular basis. Fish is associated with a better state of health, since it provides essential nutrients that ensure the proper functioning of the body. In fact, some experts recommend prioritizing its intake over meat.

Ingredients to prepare zurrukutuna

Cod is a white fish that provides several health benefits. If you want to prepare the best zurrukutuna, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 150 grams of desalted cod crumbs
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 100 grams of hard bread from the previous day
  • 1 dried chili pepper
  • 15 milliliters of choricero bell pepper pulp
  • 100 grams of tomato sauce
  • 1 spoonful of sweet paprika
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 liter of water or fish fumet
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 75 milliliters of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Keep in mind that one of the details that will mark the final result of the dish will be the quality of the codfish crumbs chosen. Always try to acquire a product that has been correctly treated so that it doesn’t lose flavor and its full potency is used. In the same way, you can try other varieties of hot bell pepper alternatives to the chili pepper to get different nuances.

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Step-by-step instructions for making zurrukutuna

  1. Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Then, put them in a saucepan with virgin olive oil in the bottom.
  2. Sauté the garlic cloves with the chili pepper until both ingredients are golden brown.
  3. Add the bread cut as thinly as possible, together with the bay leaf. Cook everything over low heat until everything is well-mixed.
  4. Add the sweet paprika. It’s important to stir the dish well at this time to prevent it from burning.
  5. Add the tomato sauce to the pan along with the chorizo bell pepper pulp.
  6. Cook everything for a couple of minutes before adding the water or the fumet.
  7. Season to taste and simmer for 30 minutes. Don’t overdo it with the salt at this point, as the fish will need to be added later.
  8. When the time has elapsed, turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf and chili pepper.
  9. Add the cod crumbs to the pan along with the eggs.
  10. Cover and wait a few minutes until both are cooked. The result will be a thick and tasty soup with a high nutritional density.

The benefits of zurrukutuna

Here are the main benefits of introducing this recipe in the context of a balanced and varied diet. Keep in mind that the objective is always to avoid nutrient deficits that can negatively condition your state of health.

It improves muscle health

This dish has a significant concentration of proteins of high biological value from fish and eggs. They have all the essential amino acids, as well as a good digestibility score. They will help maintain muscle mass in a functional state by preventing tissue catabolism and loss of strength.

In fact, ensuring a high daily protein intake has been shown to be key to preventing complex diseases such as sarcopenia. This occurs especially in older adults and affects their mobility and well-being. It will also be crucial to promote the practice of physical exercise as a protective measure.

It contributes to weight loss

The power of chili should not be forgotten when it comes to stimulating weight loss. Although it’s true that the spicier the final result, the higher the potency, the inclusion of this food in the diet on a regular basis can generate a positive effect on the metabolism and even increase the calories expended throughout the day.

This is mainly due to capsaicin, as stated in research published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. This substance manages to slightly increase a person’s body temperature, resulting in higher energy expenditure during the day. The effects will be greater if physical activity is guaranteed, of course.

Receta de sopa de bacalao fácil y nutritiva
The use of chili would contribute to increasing the burning of calories and thus promote weight loss.

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Cod improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system

In order to prevent cardiovascular diseases, it’s advisable to increase the intake of certain nutrients through the diet. The omega-3 fatty acids present in many fish and in extra virgin olive oil will be key to keeping inflammation under control. This is one of the underlying mechanisms of many heart diseases.

In addition, the consumption of phytonutrients of plant origin should be ensured. Among all of them, special mention should be made of the power of lycopene, which is contained in tomatoes. According to a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis, this element could help prevent the development of many of the most common cardiovascular problems. That why tomatoes should be consumed regularly.

Prepare zurrukutuna in a simple way at home

As you’ve seen, it’s not difficult at all to prepare zurrukutuna in a simple way at home. Plus, it’s a dish that will be enjoyed by all the members of the household. Not only is it exquisite in terms of taste, but it also contains a large number of essential nutrients that help to improve the state of health and reduce the risk of getting sick in the medium term.

In any case, remember that it’s advisable to combine a proper diet with other healthy lifestyle habits to avoid suffering from complex diseases. These include regular physical exercise, regular exposure to sunlight, and good rest. A minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night is necessary for the body to repair itself properly and reach a state of homeostasis.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Martone, A. M., Marzetti, E., Calvani, R., Picca, A., Tosato, M., Santoro, L., Di Giorgio, A., Nesci, A., Sisto, A., Santoliquido, A., & Landi, F. (2017). Exercise and Protein Intake: A Synergistic Approach against Sarcopenia. BioMed research international2017, 2672435. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2672435
  • Varghese, S., Kubatka, P., Rodrigo, L., Gazdikova, K., Caprnda, M., Fedotova, J., Zulli, A., Kruzliak, P., & Büsselberg, D. (2017). Chili pepper as a body weight-loss food. International journal of food sciences and nutrition68(4), 392–401. https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2016.1258044
  • Cheng, H. M., Koutsidis, G., Lodge, J. K., Ashor, A., Siervo, M., & Lara, J. (2017). Tomato and lycopene supplementation and cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis257, 100–108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.01.009

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.