Spanish Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

Sopa de Ajo
Yogma/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
144 Calories
6g Fat
13g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
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.)

Garlic has been used for centuries in many cuisines because of its pungent flavor, but also because of its medicinal properties, and Spanish cuisine is no stranger to a heavy amount of garlic in its savory preparations.

Because of garlic's medicinal properties, a bowl of this soup could help you combat a common cold, and it's also loaded with garlic's anti-inflammatory components like manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. If you have a loaf of old bread and you're thinking of getting rid of it, this recipe is the perfect way of putting it to good use.

This bold garlic soup will be a new winter favorite; move over chicken soup—garlic is here to stay!


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 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 cubed)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (sweet)
  • 1 quart water
  • 6 large eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a heavy frying pan, heat the oil and add the garlic. Remember not to slice it too thin because it can burn really fast. Keep the cooking temperature at medium heat because olive oil can also burn and leave your dish with a bitter aftertaste.

  3. Before the garlic turns brown, add the cubed ham and the slices of bread sautéing them for a few minutes on medium heat.

  4. Add the sweet paprika, followed by the water and salt. Bring to a slow boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

  5. Poach the eggs, carefully breaking them into the soup one at a time. Cover without stirring and let the eggs cook in the soup, for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

  6. Once the eggs have the consistency you desire, scoop out the poached eggs one at a time, into soup bowls and then slowly ladle the soup into each bowl. To serve, top each bowl with fresh parsley.

  7. Enjoy hot!

Other Cooking Options

  • In our recipe the bread is cooked with the rest of the ingredients, whereas in other parts of Spain the bread is added at the end to top the bowls.
  • Some other recipes mix all the ingredients and bake them until there's no liquid left and the preparation resembles a cake more than a soup.
  • Some prefer to beat the eggs before adding them into the boiling pot, mixing them in by constantly stirring the liquid for a minute of two.
  • Store-bought chicken or vegetable broth can add extra flavor, but the original recipe uses just water; keeping it so, minus the cured ham, makes this soup a suitable vegetarian option.

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