Garlic soup (sopa de ajo), or sopa castellana as it is often called in Spain, is a traditional, hearty soup with a flavour far beyond its simple ingredients. Don’t be put off by the six cloves of garlic, as they reduce down to a sweet background flavour after being sauteed on a low heat with the jamón!
Separately, its ingredients sound plain, but together, they create a warm, rich soup with bags of flavour. However, as there are so few ingredients. it’s crucial that they are of top quality. Consider making your own chicken stock, such as our caldo de pollo, and using top quality paprika, such as pimenton de la vera.
Ingredients (serves 4)
6 cloves of garlic
50 g jamón (serrano ham)
120 g baguette
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika (sweet or spicy)
1 1/2 litres chicken stock
- Peel and slice the cloves of garlic, removing the central green stem. Dice the jamón into small pieces and cut the baguette into 2 cm slices.
- Place the olive oil in a large deep saucepan on a low heat. Add the slices of garlic and cook for several minutes until golden brown. Watch them closely as they can burn very quickly! Add the jamón and stir well. When the jamón starts to crisp up, remove the garlic and jamón from the saucepan, leaving the flavoured oil behind. Add the slices of bread to the oil and cook for several minutes until golden brown. When the bread is golden brown, turn off the heat and add the paprika. Mix well and add the garlic and jamón back into the saucepan.
- Turn the heat back on and add the stock to the saucepan. Cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Break the eggs into a bowl and pour them into the soup. Stir gently until the egg has cooked through. Try to leave the yolks intact, as they are delicious when they are slightly runny in the centre!
- Serve your garlic soup piping hot with small toasted slices of baguette.