Sopa de Ajo Castellana (Spanish Garlic Soup)

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Authentic Sopa de Ajo Castellana for a cold winter night. Just 4 main ingredients: garlic, olive oil, bread and beef broth (+ a little cooking secret)

Spanish cuisine has utter respect for humble ingredients. It’s never about stuffing soups like in an American chowder (that I also love). It’s more about combining a few ingredients and let them shine.

In this recipe, the star is the Garlic, of course, otherwise, it wouldn’t be a sopa de ajo (garlic soup).

But the secret for an authentic Spanish garlic soup is the extra virgin olive oil that is infused with the garlic at the start of the cooking process.  

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Origins of sopa de ajo a la Castellana

As the name states this is a soup from the Castilla y León region. But it became popular all over Spanish territory.

The reason for its popularity is simple: It’s a fulfilling soup with humble ingredients. Affordable and comforting and the same time.

This soup became a way to survive a period of economic crisis. Nowadays, it’s usually prepared during easter week.

How to make Spanish garlic soup?

This is a pretty simple soup. Few ingredients and few steps. Just 30 minutes from start to finish.

The first most important step is to create the base of the soup.

In a big pot heat the olive oil over low heat and add the sliced garlic. The garlic must not be thinly sliced or it will burn too quickly.

Stir constantly and after 30 seconds add the prosciutto in cubes. Since the heat is low, stir for about 1 minute until the garlic starts to get golden.

Then add the rustic bread cut into medium size chunks. If they are too thin they will disintegrate into the soup. Try to get a bit of a crust in the slices of bread before the next step.

Now, just add about 1 ½ lt of beef broth and the special touch of this soup … paprika!

Turn up the heat and boil the soup for 10 minutes. Add the eggs into the soup. Carefully to not break the yolks. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes. Serve!

Variation of the sopa de ajo

This garlic soup has many variations throughout Spain. Each region has adapted the soup to their likings. 

  • With or without the egg. It’s completely optional to add 1 egg per person just before ending the cooking process. Personally, I love the runny egg yolk in my sopa Castellana. 
  • You can use chorizo instead of prosciutto for a smokier and richer result. 
  • The beef broth can be substituted for vegetable broth. 

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Sopa de Ajo Castellana (Spanish Garlic Soup)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Authentic Sopa de Ajo Castellana for a cold winter night. Just 4 main ingredients: garlic, olive oil, bread and beef broth (+ a little cooking secret)

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: roasted tomato garlic soup, sopa castellana, sopa de ajo
Servings: 4 people
  • 200 gr rustic bread loaf
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 100 gr prosciutto in cubes
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1.5 lt beef broth (or water with a stock cube)
  • 4 eggs (1 egg per person)
  • Salt if needed
  1. In a big pot, over low heat, add the olive oil and the garlic cloves sliced (see the picture for reference on the thickness). Cook for 30 seconds, constantly stirring.
  2. Add the prosciutto in cubes and cook for a minute. Remember to use low heat to avoid burning the garlic.
  3. Add the bread loaf cut into medium size chunks. See the picture for reference. Cut for an extra minute.
  4. Pour the beef broth and add the paprika. Stir. Add salt if needed (note 1). Boil for 10 minutes in high heat.
  5. Carefully add the egg into the soup. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve.
Recipe Notes
  1. The amount of salt is going to variate according to how salty the prosciutto and the beef broth are. In my case, I didn’t need to add any salt.

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