September 22nd 2011
Sopa de Ajo recipe:
1 pint of homemade chicken stock
8 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
2 slices of stale sourdough bread (broken into pieces)
lots of olive oil (about a quarter of an inch deep in your saucepan)
1 teaspoon of pimentón dulce (sweet paprika)
1 teaspoon of hot smoked pimentón
a pinch of saffron
salt and pepper to taste
This recipe will easily serve two people, in which case an extra egg will be needed.
Break the bread up and fry it in olive oil. You need quite a lot of oil – do remember that olive oil is an ingredient, not just a frying medium – it’s very good for you too! The bread just needs a little bit of cooking on either side (it shouldn’t be browned like fried bread).
After a few minutes, add the garlic and allow it to take some colour before stirring in the pimentón.
The bread and oil will take on a distinct red colour.
Once the pimentón has been thoroughly mixed in, pour on the home made chicken stock,
along with a pinch of saffron.
Spain is also one of the major world saffron producers – it’s actually the stigmas of the saffron crocus and quite an expensive spice.
Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, by which point the bread should be very soggy. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Break an egg into the soup (traditionally one egg per person) and allow it to poach for a few minutes. You might find that breaking the egg into a large spoon and then lowering the spoon into the soup will ensure that the yolk stays unbroken.
Serve the sopa de ajo when the egg has set – it goes very well with a few croutons.
There are some regional additions to this recipe such as the inclusion of jamón serrano, tomatoes or cauliflower.