Thursday, April 18, 2013

Celebrating National Garlic Day with Sopa de Ajo - Spanish Bread and Garlic Soup

As a very, very small percentage of you may know, tomorrow is National Garlic Day, and what better way to celebrate than with a big bowl of Spanish garlic soup? Sopa de Ajo is a wonderfully rustic bread soup, spiked with sliced garlic, paprika, and ham.

If that wasn’t enough to get your attention, it’s also topped with eggs poached in the fragrant, brick red broth. It’s like a steaming bowl of breakfast-for-dinner. 

Like I say in the clip, there are as many ways to make this as families in Spain, but I really think toasting the bread is key. You’re basically replacing the flavorless water in the bread with olive oil and awesome soup.

Plus, having the olive oil baked into the cubes makes for a better texture in my opinion. Whether you make this tomorrow to celebrate a totally made-up holiday, or wait until you have some stale bread sitting around, I really hope you try this incredibly comforting Spanish soup. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
About 6 cups of cubed French or Italian bread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle on bread cubes
6-10 thinly sliced garlic cloves
2 oz ham diced
1-2 tsp paprika or to taste
6 cups chicken broth
4 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

35 comments:

Luke Meadows said...

Sweet or smoked paprika?
Also I love your work Chef John!

Chef John said...

Sweet! Thanks!

Shira Blank said...

hi chef john, i don't eat ham, could i used sliced turkey instead?

dz.m.ziv said...

Amazing! I don't think I was one of the people to send you an "I'm a starving student" email... but I do fit the profile. I'm sure my hot plate and toaster oven can't wait! Thanks Chef John!

cookinmom said...

Is that All-Clad??? Size?

Chef John said...

It's a 3-qt cuisinart.

martinla said...

you realize that your youtube links embedded in the body of the embedded youtube videos -i.e. the YouTube text in said videos - it opens a new window with the youtube link but it also CONTINUES playing the video on your own page, and thus two videos play at the same time in different windows/tabs. This is in Chrome. Perhaps it's better in other browsers, but the sad fact is that Google owns youtube and makes Chrome. That's programers for you...

Justin said...

Stunning! I may try with smoked sausage as I'm also not a ham eater.

Or maybe just no meat at all. Thanks!

Darren Arnaud said...

Very good recipie. Hey I've learned so much from your videos in the past 3 years.

Check this link out. It sounds like an adventure (temporary or not) and a lot of busy, busy celebrity stuff behind the scenes.

40k per month, all expenses & accommodations taken care of and a host of celebrity parties.

Darren Arnaud said...

Oops forgot to pass you the link.

here it is...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF21Len5n1Y

Darren Arnaud said...

And sorry again for so many posts (I am trying to string them together) I was referring to an ad from PSY's 40k a month chef query that kicked off the Coco cherry pork tenderloin video. A video that I am using to cook tonights dinner for myself and some guests.

PhillyBear said...

Amazing recipe, Chef. Made it today. I can't get over how easy and delicious it is. Thanks

Reenie said...

This recipe made me discover the website, and your amazing videos. While I have taken culinary classes, I feel like you've inspired me to be daring again and try new things. =) Thank you Chef, and I can't wait to see what's new!

By the way, I can't wait to see how to chop those mangos like you did in the rice pudding video! ;) If I didn't miss it.

Chris said...

One of our favorite soups is Mexican garlic soup, which is similar but doesn't have the paprika or ham. We'll have to give this Spanish version a try, thanks, John.

Audrey said...

Hey Chef,

This was SO GOOD! And not only did I get fantastic soup out of it, I had an excuse to buy a mandolin. I've wanted one for a few years, but hadn't wanted to spend the money. It really did make this so much easier.

shazam13 said...

Hey Chef
Can I sub ham for something else like chicken or beef

Unknown said...

Hi Chef,
I am vegetarian, is there anything I can sub with the ham?

Oli said...

I subbed the ham with mushrooms and it was delicious

Sophia said...

Does it have to be French or Italian bread? Would there be a drastic difference if I were to use Cuban or etc?

Bill Berry said...

Made the soup for the first time tonight and the wifey and I really enjoyed it. One problem: when I put the eggs in they sunk (fortunately I was able to fish them out - two were still runny). I did do the ramekin trick, but to no avail. Does the soup have to be at a boil or do I just have to be really gentle?

Chef John said...

My eggs didn't float, they were sitting on top of my soup. Yours must have been not as thick.

shirsureok said...

I've made this, it's delicious! Now I know what to do when I have old french bread :D

Jules said...

I made this for dinner this evening. One of the most flavorful soups I've ever tasted. You've outdone yourself, John.

Mike Roybal said...

I had this in Spain while doing the Camino de Santiago. I walked into a hostel out of the pouring rain and was greeted with a bowl if sopa de ajo, one of the best meals of the entire trip. Now I know what I am making for dinner tonight

Mark Anderson said...

Wonderful soup. Great recipe. Easy and full of flavor.

Put some creme fraîche in there, but be warned. You'll never be the same again.

Joey said...

Finally made this today. Chef John, you are my food hero! Just amazing :)

Lee Furness said...

Mine didn't come out very well. Tasted heavy and salty. I used extra Virginia olive oil as that's what I had but I think there is something wrong with it. I used it for the aoli recipe and that tasted awful too . not having much luck lately but I tried your pizza sauce and that turned out fantastic

Tomek Jarząbek said...

Tried it today, it turned out amazing. Greets from Poland, I'm your one-man fanclub.

Salt River Garlic Company said...

Terrific video and recipe! Now I just have to decide which kind of garlic to use when we make this at the farm. Decisions, decisions. :-)

Mike Masters said...

Made this tonight. It was amazing!!!

Wren said...

I made this soup tonight, and it was great. My family couldn't quite get over the "How much garlic did you put in this soup?!" and the "bread soup?!" factor.

I also never expected one of those bisque ramekins to be a hearty serving, so filling, so garlicky, so good!

Thanks Chef John.

Anandita Sathyanarayana said...

Is it going to taste too garlicky?

Chef John said...

Yes.

janeccwong said...

I made it, very garlicky and very yummy!! :D
However, I didn't have the kinda bread I wanna use, but I had lots of potatoes. So I used them instead lol
Yeah not Sopa de Ajo anymore but taste great! Will definitely make again.

Thanks Chef John! <3

TruePerception said...

Okay, I've made this twice, now. First time, too much bread, not enough meat (for my tastes), and overpoached the eggs.

This time, I decided to quadruple your suggested ham, and I added two links of Andouille, thinly coined. Unfortunately, I under shot on the bread this time (I don't measure often), and the eggs would not stay on top, so I got one of four poached right. I have two more eggs, so I'll try again when my sister comes over to try it. Otherwise, a very nice recipe. Also, skipped the fresh herb (personal cooking choice).