Spanish Garlic & Bread Soup
Sopa de Ajo could definitely be classified as peasant food because this hearty stew turns a bunch of pantry staples into something greater than the sum of its parts.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 4-6 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 2-4 slices country bread 1-inch thick
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika (pimentón)
- 1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- dried oregano to taste
- 1 cup pulled chicken
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Remove crust from bread, cut or tear into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high in a medium pot.
- Add garlic and stir until golden brown, approximately 2-4 minutes.
- Add cubed bread and paprika, stirring occasionally until bread is slightly toasted, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add wine and stir to release any toasted bits from the bottom of the pan. After 2-3 minutes, most of the wine should be absorbed by the bread.
- Add stock and stir to combine. Add parsley, oregano, and pepper, if desired, and bring to a boil.
- Once the soup has reached a boil, remove from heat. Add chicken or eggs, if desired, and stir to combine.
- Season with salt to taste and garnish with parsley and/or pimentón.
Disclaimer: this soup is garlicky. More accurately, this soup IS garlic. It’s not the kind of thing that I would take into the office and have for lunch before a big meeting, but with all of our professional interactions restricted to the digital domain, that’s not really an issue these days. Still, should you decide to make this soup, keep a toothbrush handy, just to be safe. The key is to slice the garlic as thin as possible--we’re talking Goodfella’s thin--so the flavor melts into the soup and you avoid biting into a whole clove. This recipe is really more of a framework because it is perfect to make when you are looking to spice up some leftovers, but the basic requirements are garlic, broth, and bread. Traditionally, this rustic Spanish soup is made with pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika) but I recently picked up a loaf of country bread from Rind and Wheat that had been spiked with Morita chile, so I was able to use that instead. The Morita Chiles are a smoky pepper, similar to a chipotle, but milder in heat. Additionally, Sopa de Ajo usually includes eggs. I have seen some recipes that call for mixing scrambled eggs into the soup and other that suggest placing a fried or poached egg right on top before serving. This time I decided to scrap the egg altogether and instead added some leftover shredded chicken to the stew. Sopa de Ajo could definitely be classified as peasant food because this hearty stew turns a bunch of pantry staples into something greater than the sum of its parts. Did I mention that it’s garlicky?