Monday, October 11, 2010

Meatless Monday: Sopa de Ajo • Garlic Soup

The first time I had Sopa de Ajo was 25 years ago in a well-known restaurant called Las Cuevas de Luis Candela in Madrid, Spain.  It was so filling that I did not order an entree. This is a simple peasant soup that is easy to make and very tasty.

4 thick slices of day old bread such as French or Italian
6 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
4 eggs
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika (smoked or sweet)
5 cups vegetable broth (traditionally it should be beef, but I'm making this vegetarian)

Heat a skillet with your olive oil and lightly cook your 'til aromatic, do not let it burn! Remove the garlic. In the same skillet with the oil, brown your bread slices and set aside. In a large pot heat your vegetable broth with the olive oil from the skillet, the garlic you set aside and the paprika. Add salt to taste. (Traditionally, the next step would be to drop your bread into this pot and let it all cook for about 15 minutes at which point you break open your eggs and drop them in one by one until cooked – about 5-10 minutes)  I'm going to prepare the soup in individual servings because I'm only going to serve myself. (I can freeze the leftover soup broth and add the bread and egg when ready). So, to make individual servings, heat your oven to 350F.  Place a cookie sheet in the oven. Using individual oven proof soup bowls, place a slice of bread on the bottom of your bowl, add your broth, and drop your egg on top. Place your bowls on the cookie sheet and heat for about 10 minutes until the egg is cooked. Carefully remove your soup bowls and enjoy.


  1. Ivonne, this is definitely a Spanish dish, but many households in Cuba made it, since most Cubans have Spanish ancestry and since this is such a simple, inexpensive meal to make, using day old bread and sometimes, even older bread (some people used to call it "sopa de pan viejo" —old bread soup). I am not sopero (a soup eater) but this is one of the few soups I do like, except for the egg. Sometimes I would just eat the fried bread slices as my mother would toast them on a black frying pan and put them on an old thick white porcelain fuente (serving dish). Sometimes, if my father was the one toasting the bread, he would rub it with some mashed garlic and then it was truly a treat, though then entire house would then really smell garlicky. Thanks for making so many memories back

  2. Er... so many memories come back, I meant. I guess I choked on so much garlic LOL. LOVE IT! XOXOXOXOX

  3. Looks good reminds of me of this which is also a variation of that :)

  4. Pedro, it is difficult to resist eating the bread before it goes in the soup. I don't usually like eggs in my soup either, but this one stays whole and floats on top, and although it doesn't look like it in the photo the center was firm, so it didn't drip into the broth.

    Nathan, interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing.