Spanish Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo): A Recipe

“What kind of a Hispanist am I if I never tried Spanish sopa de ajo(garlic soup)?” I asked myself recently. So I decided to make my first garlic soup ever. Even though it didn’t

Sopas de ajo

look, feel, or taste like what we call “soup” in my culture (no potatoes! no carrots! no cabbage!), it was still very good and hearty, which was especially appropriate for the first cold spell this Fall.

Here are the ingredients I used:

Ingredients
    • Half a loaf of stale bread (please don’t get that weird kind that never goes stale).
    • 10-12 cloves of garlic (I wimped out and only added 8, which was a mistake).
    • several strips of bacon and some bacon bits (this is what I used to substitute for Spanish amazing jamon serrano which I obviously don’t have here)
    • 6 eggs
    • some stock that I substituted with water
    • olive oil
    • a little paprika (substitute with cayenne paper if you don’t mind hotness.)

In some olive oil, fry bacon strips cut into pieces until they become golden. Cut garlic cloves into smallish pieces and add them to the pan. Make sure the garlic becomes golden but doesn’t burn.

Garlic and Bacon

Cut your stale loaf into crouton-sized cubes and add them to the frying-pan. When all ingredients are pleasantly golden, remove the pan from the fire and add 1/3 of a teaspoon of paprika. It is supposed to cover your ingredients with nice reddish color. Make sure paprika doesn’t burn, though!

In the meanwhile, heat up your stock (or water) in a pan. Add some more crouton-sized pieces of stale bread. Some people just add big slices of bread but that’s too exotic for me. When the ingredients in the frying pan are ready, add them to the stock. Now, let everything simmer for 20 minutes. I didn’t add any salt because my bacon was salty enough for my preferences. This is up to you, of course.

IMPORTANT: At no point should you allow your soup to boil. So keep an eye on it at all times. It boils, it’s ruined.

When the soup is almost done, beat the eggs into it. I also left two yolks out and added them to the plate after the soup was served. When you break up the yolk in the plate, it spreads around, and the soup becomes even more delicious.

Here is what the garlic soup ended up looking like:

Sopas de ajo

I obviously need to get a new camera soon because I don’t think that on this cell phone photo you can really see that the soup ended up looking like a flower in the plate. It was very tasty, too.

8 thoughts on “Spanish Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo): A Recipe

  1. I make something similar, but mine ends up thicker, and I don’t use bacon (I can’t remember the recipe off the top of my head, so I can’t remember if its thicker because I put more egg in, or if I add milk.) But you’re right. For something that sounds so simple, it’s remarkably hearty and a great winter soup!

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  2. I wonder about using bacon instead of jamón serrano. All of the jamón serrano that I have tasted in Spain is much more flavorful than any bacon in the US I have tasted in the past 40 years, especially store bought bacon. A website called spain-recipes.com claims to have real . jamón serrano. Have you ever thought about a side career as a food photographer, Clarissa? You keep coming up with these photos & recipes that make me change my weekend plans.

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    1. Thank you for the compliments to the recipes, Diego! The photos are low-quality for now because I’m taking pictures with a cell phone. Soon, I’ll start taking photos with a real camera, and those will be much better.

      Jamon serrano is, of course, completely different from bacon. Oh, I love it. But there is no way to buy it around here. Shipping it would cost too much.

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  3. mhh… well… you definitelly can not use anything instead of jamón serrano xDD.. but you can ot do sopa de ajo without some cured pork meat on it, so bacon is a good solution.
    well I wanted to mention that my idea of sopa de ajo doesn´t look like that at all… I have never seen anyone putting egg on it!! but maybe yours is a southern recipy and, well, sopa de ajo is a southern thing in itself so I´m not saying anything about that. And in my family the bread is grated.

    but anyway, yours look really good!

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  4. I just wanted to say that I made sopa de ajo last night and it was delicious!! I had never heard about it before your blog (even though I adore Spanish food) and have been wanting to try it ever since I read your post. And last night, I went for it. So delicious, flavorful, and hearty. Thanks for posting the recipe!!! 🙂

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