By the time you read this, I will be on a ski slope in Vermont. I’m looking forward to getting away with my family for a couple of days; while I am gone, I hope you’ll enjoy this warming soup full of garlic-y goodness.
This Spanish Garlic Soup (aka Sopa de Ajo) is meant to be thickened with good quality sourdough bread. Use a homemade loaf or the best quality store-bought bread you can find- it makes a difference. I love the addition of the white wine here, but feel free to just use more stock, if you like.
The flavors will intensify the longer you cook this soup…
Recipe for Spanish Garlic Soup
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* cloves from 1 head of garlic (about 15), peeled, smashed with the side of a knife, and chopped
* 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
* 3-4 slices sourdough bread, cubed
* 1 cup white wine
* 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used vegetable)
* 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika (I prefer the smoked)
* 1 pinch saffron
* 1 1/2 teaspoon coursely ground peppercorns (I use a mortal and pestle for this; if you don’t have one, you can just use a pepper grinder)
* 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
* minced fresh parsley for serving
* crème fraiche for serving- optional
In a soup pot, melt the butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and bread cubes, and reduce the heat a bit so the garlic doesn’t burn. Cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic and bread cubes are nicely browned (you can add a little water to the the pan during the saute process if it seems too dry).
Add the wine and 1/2 cup of the stock and bring to a boil. Cook for a minute or two, skimming the surface, if necessary, and then turn off the heat.
Allow to cool a bit and then process in a blender or food processor into a paste (you could also use a hand blender for this). Return to your soup pot and add the rest of the stock and the seasonings.
Cook over low heat for 30-40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. If you want the soup to be very smooth, you can blend it again before serving; garnish with fresh parsley and a dollop of crème fraiche, if desired.