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April 7, 2011

Sopa de ajo (Spanish garlic soup) recipe

Sopa de ajo (Spanish garlic soup)

From Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of The Vegetarian Epicure, you chose this sopa de ajo as the first recipe to try. Can you see the garlic oozing from my pores? No? Well, perhaps I slurped up every drop of this soup too quickly! The ingredients are humble -- some broth, a couple of cloves of garlic, stale bread, an egg -- but what happens when they're cooked together is magic, pure and simple. Be sure to slice the garlic rather than mince or put through a press; the garlic will be much sweeter when it's cooked. I made a single serving, in a small pot, using bread that was more than one day old; in fact, it was rock hard, and all I could do was break it into chunks (it looks strange in my photo, but worked perfectly in the soup; your neater slices or squares of day-old bread will look prettier). The author recommends not making more than two or three servings in one pan, and using a large spoon to scoop the individual poached eggs into each soup bowl. Each diner can break his or her own egg into the soup bowl, to bring all of the flavors together.

Sopa de ajo (Spanish garlic soup)


For each serving:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sweet (Hungarian) paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (pimentón de la Vera), sweet or hot, to taste
2 cups vegetable broth, heated (I used a microwave for this)
A pinch of sea salt
1 oz day-old crusty bread, cubed, thinly sliced, or broken into chunks
1 large egg


Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan. Sauté the sliced garlic over medium heat, for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, until it just starts to color. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprikas, then add the hot broth. Return the pot to the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes. Taste the broth, and add the sea salt.

Add the dry bread and simmer for 2 minutes as the bread softens. In a small bowl, break an egg (try to keep the yolk intact). Slide the egg gently into the soup, and be sure it's fully submerged. If it isn't, carefully ladle some hot broth over it to cook the top. Simmer until the white of the egg is opaque but the yolk is still soft, about 3 minutes. Pour the soup into a soup bowl and serve at once.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: janet | April 7, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Awesome first soup from Love Soup! Simple ingredients to fabulous results.. I might make the Green Soup with Ginger Soup this weekend but the Indonesian Yam and Peanut Soup is soooo tempting as well. :)

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | April 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM

This is a soup that I've heard of many times but never tried and I think it sounds amazing. I love every ingredient!

Posted by: Pauline | April 7, 2011 at 02:28 PM

This brings back memories of Santo Domingo and my first bowl of garlic soup. Still wonderful!

Posted by: Lydia | April 7, 2011 at 02:42 PM

Janet, I'm tempted by so many recipes in that book. This one is just a starting point -- look for more in the future.

Kalyn, the soup is absolutely sweet, which you don't expect, and the poached egg makes it a bit creamy (without cream). It's a true marvel.

Pauline, now that's a story I'd love to hear some day.

Posted by: candy Nartonis | April 8, 2011 at 05:17 AM

This sounds so good! It will be my first soup in Albuquerque. Or my last one in Boston!

Posted by: CJ McD | April 8, 2011 at 11:46 AM

So soothing, satisfying and delicious. In less than 10 minutes. With basic ingredients on hand. Perfect.

Posted by: Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) | April 25, 2011 at 02:12 PM

Candy, either way, this will be a delicious soup that I know you'll enjoy.

CJ, the garlic in this soup mellow into sweetness, and it really is quick and easy. Enjoy!

Posted by: Vanessa Kimbell | April 28, 2011 at 02:45 AM

I have to admit I have Hungarian paprika in my cupboard from visiting Budapest earlier in the year. This is wonderful and I am definitely going to make this!

Thank you for sharing such a lovely recipe.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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