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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

45 minutes

Free

José Andrés taught us this “end of month” recipe—the sort of meal to make quickly with whatever is on hand and money is tight. His approach: garlic cooked in copious amounts of olive oil with handfuls of thinly sliced stale bread and several tablespoons of smoked paprika. Add some water and simmer, then off heat stir in four or five whisked eggs. Supper is served. For our version, we realized the leftover bread, garlic and smoked paprika we had in our cupboards weren't up to Andrés’ standards. So we needed to tweak. We boosted flavor by using chicken bouillon (an easy pantry flavor booster) instead of plain water, and we sautéed both sweet and smoked paprika with garlic and scallions. We actually didn't have stale bread, so we turned a loaf of rustic sourdough (a baguette or any crusty loaf will do) into delicious croutons. To serve, the soup and croutons are married in the serving bowls, allowing each person to adjust the ratio of soup to bread, as well as how long they soak.

6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra
4 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
6 ounces sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups), divided
6 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon (such as Knorr chicken Base)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (optional)
Ingredients
  • 6

    scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites and greens separated

  • 6

    garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 6

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra

  • 4

    teaspoons sweet paprika

  • teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 6

    ounces sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups), divided

  • 6

    cups water

  • 2

    tablespoons chicken bouillon (such as Knorr chicken Base)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    large egg yolks

  • 2

    tablespoons sherry vinegar (optional)

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Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

45 minutes

Tip

Don't skip tempering the egg yolks with some of the hot broth before adding to the soup. This prevents them from curdling in the hot broth.

Ingredients
  • 6

    scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites and greens separated

  • 6

    garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 6

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra

  • 4

    teaspoons sweet paprika

  • teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 6

    ounces sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups), divided

  • 6

    cups water

  • 2

    tablespoons chicken bouillon (such as Knorr chicken Base)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    large egg yolks

  • 2

    tablespoons sherry vinegar (optional)

Step 1 of 4

Begin to cook

6
scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites only
6
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4
teaspoons sweet paprika
teaspoons smoked paprika

In a medium saucepan over medium-low, combine the scallion whites, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to color, 8 to 10 minutes.


Add both paprikas and cook, stirring, until fragrant and darkened, 30 seconds.

Step 2 of 4

Add the bread

1
cup sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
6
cups water
2
tablespoons chicken bouillon (such as Knorr chicken Base)

Add 1 cup of the bread cubes and stir well. Whisk in the water and bouillon, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.


Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally to break up bread, for 15 minutes. Whisk vigorously to ensure bread is thoroughly broken up.

Step 3 of 4

Prepare the crouton mixture

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3
cups sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
6
scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, greens only
½
teaspoon kosher salt
½
teaspoon ground black pepper

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the remaining 3 cups bread, the scallion greens, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.


Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Whisk in the egg yolks and serve

4
large egg yolks
2
tablespoons sherry vinegar (optional)
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to serve

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the hot broth. Remove the soup from the heat. Off heat, vigorously whisk the egg yolks into the soup, then whisk in the vinegar, if using.


Taste and season with salt and pepper. To serve, fill individual bowls with the crouton mixture, then ladle the soup over them. Drizzle with additional oil, if desired.

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