Sopa De Ajo (Hot Garlic Soup)

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 6 Servings

Hot garlic soup is a tradition not only in Spain, but also in Italy and southern France. This simple soup is always made with eggs to add protein to the dish. In order to serve the egg perfectly poached, the soup should be eaten immediately after poaching.


16 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
12 (2-inch) French bread cubes
1/2  tsp paprika
2 tsps granulated garlic
1/2  cup tomato sauce
5 cups chicken stock (+ 3-4 cups, heated in reserve to maintain soup consistency)
1 bay leaf
salt and black pepper to taste
6 whole eggs
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Remove eggs from refrigerator. In a 2-gallon Dutch oven, add half of the oil and all of the garlic.  Bring oil to 190 degrees F. Poach garlic, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until soft.  Gradually increase heat until temperature reaches 210 degrees and garlic is lightly browned on the edges. Remove garlic and set aside (retain oil). In same skillet, sauté half of the bread cubes until golden brown on all sides. Sprinkle in half of paprika and granulated garlic then remove bread and set aside.  Heat second half of oil, brown the second half of bread with the remaining paprika and granulated garlic. Remove bread. Combine cooked garlic and toasted bread cubes in food processor and pulse until a smooth paste is formed. In the same pot, combine tomato sauce, chicken stock and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer. Whisk in bread paste and cook 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Turn off heat and crack eggs into soup, allowing them to poach for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove poached eggs and place in 6 soup bowls. Top each egg with hot broth and sprinkle with parsley. NOTE: To prepare soup in individual servings, crack 1 egg into each warmed (but not hot) soup bowls. Immediately top with a ladle of boiling soup.  Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 11-13 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to sit 1-2 minutes to finish carryover cooking.  Garnish with parsley and serve.