Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe Made Easy (Try These Variations)

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Spanish Garlic Soup, also known as “Sopa de Ajo,” is a hearty, rustic dish bursting with robust flavors. Fragrant garlic cloves infuse a rich broth, complemented by smoky paprika and earthy cumin. Tender chunks of bread soak up the savory broth, creating a comforting texture. Finished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley, it’s a soul-warming delight.

Embark on a culinary voyage to Iberia with our Sizzling Sabor Spanish Garlic Soup, a bold and aromatic concoction where garlic takes center stage. Each spoonful is a fiesta of flavors, with a medley of smoky paprika and a splash of sherry vinegar adding layers of complexity.

The golden-hued broth, enriched with egg yolk, wraps your palate in a velvety embrace, while the crispy bread croutons offer a satisfying crunch. This soup is a passionate ode to Spanish cuisine, promising a zesty and heartwarming dining experience.

The heart and soul of Spanish cuisine are often found in its most rustic dishes, with Sopa de Ajo, or Spanish Garlic Soup recipe, standing as an iconic testament to this. This soup brims with the robust flavor of garlic, the heartiness of stale bread, and the warmth of smoky paprika.

As we dive into the process of crafting this delectable dish, you’ll gain valuable insights into the culinary traditions of Spain, ensuring your final bowl of soup is as authentic and flavorful as possible. 

So, let’s embark on this culinary journey, rich with aromatic garlic and the comforting warmth that Sopa de Ajo brings to every Spanish home.

With a surprisingly straightforward recipe, the depth of flavor achieved is a testament to the magical simplicity of Spanish gastronomy. This soup is more than just a meal; it’s a tale of history, culture, and love for food that spans centuries. 

Garlic Soup Recipe

What is Spanish Garlic Soup?

Spanish garlic soup, also known as “Sopa de Ajo,” is a traditional Spanish dish that’s particularly popular in the Castilla y León region. It’s a hearty and comforting soup often enjoyed during the colder months, or during Holy Week (Semana Santa).

The main ingredients are garlic, stale bread (typically a baguette or similar type of bread), smoked paprika, chicken or vegetable broth, and eggs. Some versions of the recipe might also include ham or chorizo.

Garlic Soup Recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

The Spanish Garlic Soup recipe can be adjusted to suit various dietary requirements. Here are some variations:

  • Keto This soup is already fairly low in carbs. However, you can skip the bread or replace it with keto bread to make it even more keto-friendly.
  • PaleoThe bread in this soup is not Paleo-friendly, but you could use grain-free paleo bread instead.
  • Gluten-freeUse gluten-free bread to make this recipe suitable for gluten-free diets.
  • Whole30To make this soup Whole30-compliant, you’d need to skip the bread or replace it with Whole30-compliant bread. Also, make sure your vegetable broth is Whole30-approved.
  • VeganFor a vegan version of this soup, replace the egg with silken tofu or chickpea flour “egg.” The tofu/chickpea flour “egg” will add protein and a similar texture to the egg.
  • VegetarianThis soup is already vegetarian as long as the vegetable broth doesn’t contain animal products.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

Recipe Directions

  1. Start by thinly slicing 2-3 garlic cloves and cubing or slicing your day-old bread.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic to the pan and sauté for approximately 1 to 1-1/2 minutes until it just begins to change color.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika to infuse the oil with flavor.
  4. Now, pour 2 cups of hot vegetable broth into the pan and return it to the heat. Cover the pan and let the soup simmer gently for about 4-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. After simmering, taste the broth and add a pinch of sea salt to season, adjusting to your preference.
  6. Next, add the day-old crusty bread to the pan and let it simmer for another 2 minutes, allowing the bread to soak up the delicious broth and soften in the soup.
  7. Meanwhile, break a large egg into a small bowl, being careful to keep the yolk intact.
  8. Gently slide the egg into the soup, ensuring it’s fully submerged. If the egg isn’t entirely covered by the broth, you can ladle some of the hot broth over the egg to help cook the top.
  9. Now, let the soup simmer until the egg white turns opaque, but the yolk remains soft and runny. This should take approximately 3 minutes, but you can adjust the cooking time depending on your yolk preference.
  10. Once the egg is perfectly cooked, carefully pour the soup into a bowl, making sure to include the poached egg. Serve the soup immediately, savoring the rich flavors and textures of this delightful dish.
Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Add Proteins: You can add cooked diced chicken or ham for a heartier version. If you prefer seafood, cooked shrimp or bits of white fish can also be added.
  • Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian version, add sautéed mushrooms or cooked white beans for an added protein source.


  • Spice it up: If you like your soup with a kick, add some crushed red pepper flakes or a bit of cayenne.
  • More Veggies: You can add vegetables like spinach or kale for added nutritional value. They will wilt in the hot soup and add some color and texture.


  • Cheese: A sprinkle of grated Manchego for Parmesan cheese on top before serving would add a nice richness.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro can add color and fresh flavor. Even a bit of finely sliced green onion can be a nice addition.
  • Croutons: Instead of adding bread directly to the soup, toast it separately with olive oil and garlic, and use it as a crunchy topping.
  • Drizzle of Oil: A final drizzle of good-quality olive or truffle oil would add a luxurious finish.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker 

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic per the original instructions. Stir in the paprika, then the hot broth.
  • Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker.
  • Add the bread and salt, cover, and let it cook on low for around 2 hours. This will give the bread ample time to break down and thicken the soup fully.
  • Carefully crack the egg into the slow cooker an hour before serving, ensuring it’s fully submerged. Cover and continue to cook on low.
  • Serve once the egg white is fully cooked.

Instant Pot 

  • Using the sauté function, heat the olive oil, then add the garlic. Follow the original instructions until you add the hot broth.
  • Add the bread and salt, secure the lid, and set the Instant Pot to Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Allow a Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Carefully crack the egg into the pot, secure the lid again, and set the Instant Pot to the “Keep Warm” setting. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your liking.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

  • Check the sodium content: Some store-bought broths are high in sodium. You should buy low-sodium versions to have more control over the saltiness of your soup.
  • Check for additives: Some broths contain additives or flavor enhancers like MSG. If you’re sensitive to these or prefer to avoid them, look for organic or natural versions that don’t contain these ingredients.
  • Consider the flavor: Different brands of broth can have different flavors. Try a few to find the best you like.

Homemade Broth

  • Save vegetable scraps and bones: You can use scraps from onions, carrots, celery, and other vegetables, as well as bones from chicken or beef, to make a flavorful broth.
  • Season it well: Add herbs, spices, and salt to your broth to enhance the flavor.
  • Strain it well: Strain your homemade broth well to remove all the solids.

Ensure your soup is served hot but not scalding. This helps to release the aromatic compounds and makes it more flavorful and comforting.

  • Garnish

Top the soup with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, or freshly chopped herbs like parsley for color and flavor. If you’ve used an egg, ensure it’s visible on top to add to the appeal.

  • Bread on Side

If you have extra crusty bread, serve it on the side or even slightly toasted with olive oil.

  • Serve in Warm Bowls 

Warm the serving bowls before dishing out the soup. This will ensure the soup stays hot for longer. Just run them under hot water and dry them before serving, or heat them in an oven set to a very low temperature.

  • Portion Size

If serving as a starter, consider smaller bowls or even elegant cups. Larger, deep bowls would be more suitable if it’s the main meal.

How To Serve?

  • Pairing

Consider what you are pairing with the soup. A green salad or a glass of white wine can wonderfully complement the Spanish Garlic Soup.

How To Serve?

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement

  • Crusty Bread: Nothing like a slice of warm, crusty bread or a toasted baguette to dip into the soup. It adds a satisfying crunch and is great for soaking up the flavorful broth.
  • Green Salad: A light, crisp green salad with a simple vinaigrette can provide a fresh contrast to the warm, hearty soup. You might include mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light lemon or balsamic dressing.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, or asparagus can add a savory side that pairs well with the soup. Their natural sweetness, enhanced by roasting, can be a great companion to the rich garlic flavor of the soup.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Consider a classic soup pairing with a grilled cheese sandwich for a more filling meal. Opt for a simple cheese like cheddar or something different like brie or gouda for a gourmet twist.
  • Spanish Tapas: Since this is a Spanish soup, why not stick with the theme and serve some Spanish tapas on the side? Options could include marinated olives, patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), or a Spanish tortilla (a type of omelet with potatoes).
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Store properly: Store leftover Spanish garlic soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat gently: Reheat the soup over low heat on the stove to prevent separation or curdling.
  • Freeze for longer storage: If planning to store for longer, freeze the soup in airtight containers for up to 3 months.
  • Make ahead: Prepare the soup up to 2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.
  • Adjust seasoning: Taste and adjust seasoning before serving, as flavors may intensify during storage.
  • Garnish fresh: Add fresh garnishes like chopped parsley or a drizzle of olive oil just before serving for maximum flavor.
Storage And Make Ahead

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftover Spanish Garlic Soup can be a blessing in disguise, as it lends itself to several creative uses. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Revive with Fresh Ingredients: Freshen up your leftover soup by adding new ingredients. A handful of fresh spinach or kale and some cooked chicken or beans can transform your soup into a new dish.
  • Create a Sauce: Thicken your leftover soup with a bit of cream or a flour slurry and use it as a sauce over pasta or grilled meat.
  • Bread Soup: Similar to Italian ribollita, you can add extra day-old crusty bread and let it soak up the soup, creating a completely different dish.
  • Freeze For Later: If you have a significant amount of leftover soup, consider freezing it in portion-sized containers for easy meals in the future.


  • Toast garlic: Sauté garlic until golden for depth of flavor.
  • Quality broth: Use rich homemade or high-quality store-bought broth.
  • Don’t skimp on bread: Use stale bread for authentic texture and absorption.
  • Balance flavors: Adjust garlic and paprika to taste, balancing boldness.
  • Let it meld: Allow soup to simmer for flavors to meld perfectly.
  • Garnish thoughtfully: Top with poached egg, crispy ham, or fresh herbs for flair.
  • Rest before serving: Let soup sit for a few minutes off heat to enhance flavors.
  • Serve hot: This soup is best enjoyed piping hot.
Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe Made Easy (Try These Variations)

Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe Made Easy (Try These Variations)

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Course: Soup Recipes


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Spanish Garlic Soup, or ‘Sopa de Ajo,’ is a comforting and aromatic delight hailing from the heart of Spain. This traditional recipe weaves the simple yet robust flavors of garlic and paprika with the rustic notes of day-old bread and a perfectly poached egg. 


  • 1 Tbsp 1 Olive Oil

  • 2-3 Cloves 2-3 Thinly Sliced Garlic

  • 1/2 Tbsp 1/2 Sweet Paprika (Hungarian) 

  • 1/2 Tbsp 1/2 Paprika (Smoked) (Pimentón De La Vera) (To Taste)

  • 2 Cups 2 Heated Vegetable Broth

  • Sea Salt (A Pinch)

  • 1 Oz 1 Sliced/Cubed Day-Old Crusty Bread

  • 1 1 Large Egg

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation
  •  Gather all your ingredients. 
  • Thinly slice 2-3 garlic cloves and cube or slice your day-old bread.
  • Cooking
  • Begin by heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the thinly sliced garlic to the pan and sauté for approximately 1 to 1-1/2 minutes until it just begins to change color.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika.
  • Pour 2 cups of hot vegetable broth and return the pan to the heat. Cover the pan and let it simmer gently for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Taste the broth and add a pinch of sea salt to season, adjusting to your preference.
  • Add the day-old crusty bread and let it simmer for another 2 minutes, allowing it to soften in the soup.
  • Break a large egg into a small bowl, keeping the yolk intact.
  • Gently slide the egg into the soup, ensuring it’s fully submerged. If it isn’t, ladle some hot broth over the egg to cook the top.
  • Let the soup simmer until the egg white turns opaque but the yolk remains soft. This should take approximately 3 minutes.
  • Once done, carefully pour the soup into a bowl and serve immediately.
  • Small Saucepan
  • Cutting Board
  • Kitchen Knife
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Soup Ladle
  • Soup Bowls
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Small bowl (for cracking the egg)
  • Heat-proof Ladle (for pouring hot broth over the egg)


  • Choosing Garlic: The star ingredient of this soup is garlic. Make sure to select fresh, firm bulbs for the most flavor.
  • The Bread: Traditionally, this soup is made with day-old bread, which absorbs the soup well and adds texture. Feel free to use any crusty bread you have on hand.
  • Paprika: This recipe calls for both sweet and smoked paprika. The combination provides a wonderful depth of flavor. Still, you can adjust the types and amounts of paprika to your taste.
  • The Egg: The poached egg is an important part of this soup. If you’re not confident with poaching eggs, try to practice this skill before making the soup.
  • Vegetable Broth: Homemade broth is ideal for the best flavor and control over the salt content. If using store-bought, use a low-sodium version and adjust the salt per your taste.
  • Vegan Option: If you’re following a vegan diet, you can omit the egg or substitute it with tofu or a plant-based egg replacement.
  • Spice Levels: The heat in this soup comes from the smoked paprika. Feel free to adjust the amount depending on your preference for spice.
  • Serving: Spanish Garlic Soup is an excellent starter or a light meal. Serve it with a green salad and some extra crusty bread.
  • Storage: This soup stores well in the fridge for a few days and makes excellent leftovers. Just remember that the bread will continue to soak up the broth, so it will have a different texture when reheated.

Nutrition Table 

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