Due to our warmer than normal California spring weather, it is crazy and unfathomable to picture anyone standing over their stove making soup. However, there are parts of the country that are still under a blanket of snow or in the midst of a cold snap, like our familia out in Colorado Springs. I made this Sopa de Ajo recipe with my frost bitten friends and family in mind.
Sopa de ajo is basically a sweet garlic soup. The concept is similar to that of French onion soup, low and slow cooking with plenty of flavorful broth and toasted bread. The idea of garlic soup might scare many away, but trust me when I say that stove-top, slow-cooked garlic is like roasting garlic; both will perfume the air with its sweet aroma. And like roasting, the stove-top cooking will yield soft and less pungent garlic. So you get all the flavor without any bite of raw garlic. I opted not to use cheese, as one would with French onion, but cheesing your soup, while not “authentic,” is totally fine.
So to all my chilly chums still caught in winter’s grasp, hold tight, I promise summer’s sweltering heat will be here soon enough. And until then, enjoy this recipe for sweet garlic soup, or sopa de ajo.
Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup)
3 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
4 slices of bread
2 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1. In a medium pot, combine the oil and garlic over low heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure the garlic doesn’t brown or burn.
2. Once the garlic is soft, golden, and fragrant, stir in the paprika and cumin, allow to cook about 1 minute.
3. Lightly spray the bread with cooking spray and place bread to toast in the pan, about 2-3 minutes each side. Do this in batches.
4. Once all the bread is toasted, place all the bread in the pot, and carefully poor in the broth. Season with salt and pepper, stirring carefully as not to break up the bread too much.
5. Bring to a boil over high heat, and immediately reduce the heat back down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and carefully crack the eggs in the pot, keeping them separate as they cook. Allow to cook, covered with the lid, for about 3-5 minutes, or until the egg whites have set.
7. Evenly ladle out the soup between 2 soup bowls, carefully handling the eggs so that they do not burst. Garnish with chopped cilantro to serve.