This traditional Spanish recipe is made from inexpensive, readily available ingredients. For authenticity, try to find Spanish sweet paprika as well as Spanish smoked paprika. In this Sopa de Ajo – Garlic Soup recipe, other kinds of paprika can be substituted, but the recipe is meant to be heavily seasoned. Few other recipes showcase as well garlic as a central ingredient. Garlic!

1/4 cup olive oil
One whole garlic bulb, cloves separated, peeled, and sliced very thin
1.5 to 2 cups bread crumbs (use stale, crusty, artisanal bread for best results) chopped finely
1 TBSP Spanish sweet paprika
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
2 cups chicken stock (substitute with vegetable stock or simply water)
1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir immediately. Stir continuously to prevent the garlic from burning. You want it to be just starting to show pale golden hints of colour. Add the bread crumbs and stir for a couple of minutes until they absorb most of the oil. If the pan is completely dry, add a bit more olive oil. Add the paprika, the smoked paprika, cayenne (optional), salt, and pepper. Add enough stock (or water) to just cover the bread crumbs. The bread crumbs will thicken in the soup as it cooks. Bring to a light boil, cover, and simmer on very low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves two to three.

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