Sopa de Ajo (Basque Garlic Soup) Recipe

Sopa de Ajo (Basque Garlic Soup) Recipe

Sopa de ajo is a balm for a cold day enjoyed throughout Spain. The piping hot bowl of garlicky, smoky broth is filled with tendrils of eggs, thickened with bread, and heightened with a splash of sherry vinegar. In the Basque region, this soup traditionally uses a bread called zopako ogia that has a broad, dry crust, and very little crumb, making it perfect for thickening soup.
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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces high-quality baguette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided

     

  • 1 garlic head (about 12 cloves), peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 heaping tablespoon Pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)

  • 8 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

     

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place baguette on a baking sheet, and toast in preheated oven until very browned and almost burnt, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool. Break or slice bread into 2-inch pieces.

  2. Heat 7 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add bread pieces, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning often to allow bread to toast and soak up oil, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove bread, and set aside. Wipe pot clean.

  3. Add garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot. Cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in paprika. Add broth and salt; bring to a boil.

  4. Add bread to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and maintain a simmer. Add vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up bread, until flavors meld, about 25 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

  5. When ready to serve, bring soup to a simmer over medium-high. Stirring constantly, slowly pour beaten eggs into hot soup. If any large pieces of bread remain, cut with kitchen scissors, or break apart with a spoon. Serve hot.

Notes

Soup can be prepared through step 4 up to 2 days in advance. Bring to a simmer, and add beaten eggs just before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Lightly sparkling, appley Txakoli.

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