Castilian Spanish Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

Sopa de Ajo
Yogma/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 quart (6 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
144 Calories
6g Fat
13g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 quart (6 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 161mg 54%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 11g
Calcium 78mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sopa de ajo (garlic soup) is a very old, Spanish, peasant-style dish and is typical of Castilla-Leon regional cuisine, where the winters are cold and soups and stews are eaten daily.

Castilla is the "land of bread," and it is bought fresh daily. However, a Spanish cook would never serve it stale, so this recipe is a good way to use any stale bread that is left over from yesterday’s meals. However, the most important ingredient in this soup is definitely the garlic.


  • 1/3 cup oil (olive)
  • 3 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 3 1/2 ounces ham (Spanish cured or other cured ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes)
  • 2 to 3 slices bread (day-old French-style bread, cut into 4 x 2 1/2 x 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (sweet)
  • 1 quart water
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 large eggs

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan.

  2. Add not-too-thinly sliced garlic.

  3. Before the garlic turns brown, add the cubed ham and the slices of bread.

  4. Sauté for a few minutes on medium heat.

  5. Add the sweet paprika, followed by the water and salt. Bring to a slow boil. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes.

  6. To poach the eggs, carefully break them into the soup one at a time.

  7. Scoop out poached eggs one at a time into soup bowls and then slowly ladle the soup into each bowl.