Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo) with Poached Eggs

This Castillian classic is a simple and satisfying soup.


  • 4-5 cups stale white bread, cubed or torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 small rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika or chili powder (about a palmful)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • A small handful fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs


Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

Spread the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 7-8 minutes. Add the toasted bread; season with the hot paprika (or chili powder), sweet paprika and a little salt. Stir in the chicken stock and cilantro (or parsley); simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Fill a medium size saucepan two-thirds of the way with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs into ramekins and slide the eggs into the water (and into the rings, if using). Gently poach until just set, 2-3 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf from the soup. Serve in shallow bowls with a poached egg on top.

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