17 October 2017

Sopas de ajo o castellana (Garlic or Castilian soup)

This recipe is one of the most traditional winter comfort foods in the region of Castile, in north of Spain. Made by mums and grandmas all over the region in specially cold nights. It just makes me feel at home everytime.

It is typically made with stock from "Cocido madrileƱo", a stew made of chickpeas, pork and vegetables, but can be done with other types of stock. My favourite is with vegetable or chicken stock, but many times I use plain water. The important spice here is the typical Spanish smoked paprika, which will give most of the flavour along with the garlic.

It is supposed to be one of the most humble Spanish recipes. It literally uses leftovers, such as the stock from a previous stew and old bread. The eggs and Serrano ham bits just adds a bit more flavour.

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 750 ml stock (you can use vegetable, chicken... worst case you can use water)
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • Day old bread (around 120 g or four large slices)
  • 2 Eggs (optional)
  • Serrano ham cubes (optional)


Peal the garlic and dice the bread. You can dice the garlic if you prefer, but I rather have it full so I can see it later in the bowl.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Fry the garlic until it becomes golden. This is a supper fast thing to cook. It takes just minutes, but it can easily burn, specially the garlic and the paprika, so as soon as the garlic is golden, start adding the rest.  

As soon as the garlic is golden, without stopping to stir, and with a few seconds in between them to help them cook, add the paprika, the bread, and finally the stock. Bring to the boil and turn off the heat.

Pour the soups into the bowls while it is still pipping hot. Crack an egg into the bowl and very slowly and carefully stir the soup, trying not to break the yolk. The whites will get cooked with the heat of the soup. 

If you prefer the eggs hard-boiled you can put them while the soup is still in the saucepan with the heat on. Or even more, you can hard boil them on the side and add them chopped when the soup is ready.

Sprinkle some Serrano ham cubes if you have them and ten they are ready to eat! 

Also you can change the ham for something else, like chorizo or crispy bacon. For vegetarians you can eliminate the egg and ham and add some spring onions, crispy croutons or crisp any vegetable that you used in your stock.

I personally don't enjoy the taste of the full garlic, that is why I don't dice them, so I can find them and push them aside, but feel free to do whatever seems better to you!

And one last piece of advice, I like to leave the yolk for the end when I'm eating, put it whole in my mouth and feel the yolk breaking... mmm delicious. 

This Nutrition Facts are for 4 bread slices and without the ham and egg, so take that into consideration when you start adding your bits.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.3g13%
Saturated Fat 1.7g9%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1621mg70%
Total Carbohydrate 35.4g13%
Dietary Fiber 2.9g10%
Total Sugars 4.1g
Protein 6.6g
Vitamin D 0mcg0%
Calcium 131mg10%
Iron 3mg18%
Potassium 188mg4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  1. Yum Yum Yum! I know this will help me in long Norwegian winters :) I am so glad you restarted the blog!!! Cheers!

    1. Thanks for the inspiration to get back to it! ;)