Sopa de Ajo Castellana

Since St. Teresa of Avila was born in the Castile region of Spain, I thought it would be fun to try and combine some regional Spanish cuisine into our menu for her feast. One of the more common foods from Castile is Garlic Soup. From what I read, it was often eaten, about 3 hours after breakfast, on winter mornings, to help recover form hard work and the cold.

I ran across many recipes for this soup, but decided to try the following one from Cooking Light Magazine.

Sopa de Ajo Castellana
(Castilian Garlic Soup)

Originally, garlic soup was a peasant's dish made with the most basic ingredients: garlic, bread, and water. Traditional additions of broth, spices, ham, and poached eggs made much tastier soup. The cooked egg whites give the soup a cloudy appearance.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 ounces Spanish serrano ham or prosciutto, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 3 (15.75-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed hearty country bread (about 4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika or sweet paprika
Remaining ingredient:
  • 4 large eggs


To prepare soup, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Add ham and 1 teaspoon paprika; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in cumin, pepper, saffron, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the croutons, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and 1 crushed garlic clove in a large bowl. Add the bread cubes, tossing to coat. Place bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until toasted. Sprinkle bread cubes with 1/2 teaspoon paprika; toss well.

Increase oven temperature to 450°.

Break 1 egg into each of 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the broth mixture evenly among bowls. Place bowls on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. Top each serving with croutons.

Yields: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups soup and 1/2 cup croutons) Pin It


  1. We made the soup last night for dinner. Yum! I added some sliced Italian sausage and cannelini to make it a bit heartier for my family. And I used double the garlic because we LOVE garlic!LOL!The kids thought it was a real hoot to have an egg in their soup!
    Thanks for the recipe, it's a keeper!

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