The Secret To Achieving Perfect Consistency In Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe

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.

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Spanish Garlic Soup 

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. 

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.

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.

History Of Spanish Garlic Soup

As a culinary staple, Soup traces its roots back to the dawn of cooking nearly 20,000 years ago. Early humans made soup by boiling water in animal hides or clay pots and adding available ingredients like meat, vegetables, and bones. 

The discovery of waterproof containers was transformative. It enabled the extraction of nutrients from plants and meats in ancient impossible ways. Historically, soups evolved in each culture, reflecting local ingredients and culinary preferences. 

From the hearty broths of Europe to the vibrant soups of Asia, this versatile dish has stood the test of time, offering comfort, nourishment, and a canvas for culinary creativity.

Interesting Facts About The Spanish Garlic Soup

  • Historical Dish: Spanish Garlic Soup, also known as ‘Sopa de Ajo,’ has been a staple in Spanish households for centuries. It’s a rustic dish popular among shepherds and farmers who needed inexpensive, nourishing meals.
  • Garlic Overload: The soup is typically heavy on the garlic, often using a whole head for a single pot of soup. This might sound like a lot, but the cooking process mellows the garlic’s sharpness, turning it sweet and almost nutty.
  • No-Waste Philosophy: Including day-old bread in the recipe reflects the Spanish ethos of not wasting food. This clever way of using stale bread adds a beautiful texture to the soup.
  • Versatile Dish: Although the classic recipe is simple, there are many variations. Some regions in Spain add serrano ham or chorizo for a meaty twist. Others may include red pepper for added flavor and color.
  • Celebratory Soup: In Castilla, a region in Spain, Sopa de Ajo is traditionally prepared during Easter week as a lighter meal following the excesses of Carnival.
  • Comfort Food: This soup is often served during the colder months as it’s believed to ward off the cold due to the warming properties of garlic and paprika.
  • Healthy Choice: Spanish Garlic Soup is not just tasty but also healthy. Garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties, and the soup overall is low in calories, making it a popular choice for those watching their diet.
  • Culinary Skill Show Off: The perfectly poached egg that tops off the soup is a garnish and a test of culinary skill. Achieving a runny yolk with firm whites takes precision and timing.

What Makes The Soup Special?

What truly sets Spanish Garlic Soup or ‘Sopa de Ajo’ apart is its unique combination of humble ingredients that create an exquisitely flavorful, comforting dish.

At its core, the soup stars garlic, an ingredient loved for its health benefits and its ability to infuse dishes with rich, aromatic flavor. Sautéed until golden, the garlic exudes a sweetness that contrasts the smoky and sweet paprika, offering a complex taste profile.

The addition of day-old bread gives a delightful texture. It reflects the traditional Spanish ethos of waste reduction in the kitchen. It’s a clever way of utilizing leftovers, enhancing the soup’s body and depth.

The crowning glory is the poached egg, which, when broken into, spills its creamy yolk into the broth, adding another layer of richness and visually enhancing the soup’s appeal.

This synergy of simple elements, each delivering its character, makes Spanish Garlic Soup a true gastronomic gem and symbolic of the simplicity yet richness found in Spanish cuisine.

Highlighting The Key Ingredients

Soup is a culinary chameleon, transforming based on its ingredients. A robust broth forms the soul of most soups, typically derived from meat or vegetables. The heart is often a medley of vegetables, proteins like meat or legumes, and grains or pasta. 

Spices, herbs, and seasonings are the personality, infusing each spoonful with unique flavors. The final touch, whether a dollop of cream, a sprinkle of cheese, or a squeeze of citrus, brings an extra dimension, making each soup a distinctive culinary experience.

Spanish Garlic Soup recipe

Ingredients List

IngredientQuantity per Serving
Olive Oil1 tbsp
Thinly sliced Garlic2-3 Cloves
Sweet Paprika (Hungarian) 1/2 tbsp
Paprika (Smoked) (Pimentón de la Vera)1/2 tbsp (to taste)
Heated Vegetable Broth2 Cups
Sea SaltA Pinch
Sliced/Cubed Day-Old Crusty Bread1 oz
Large Egg1

Key Ingredients Needed For Spanish Garlic Soup

The ingredients for soup can be as varied as the types of soup themselves, but here are some standard key components most soups require:

  • Olive Oil: The base of most Mediterranean and Spanish cooking, olive oil adds a wonderful flavor to the soup.
  • Garlic: As the name suggests, garlic is the star of the show in this soup. It’s thinly sliced and sautéed until golden, infusing the oil and the soup with its rich flavor.
  • Sweet Hungarian Paprika: This type of paprika adds a mildly sweet flavor to the soup.
  • Smoked Paprika (Pimentón de la Vera): Spanish smoked paprika gives the soup a distinct smoky flavor. You can choose between sweet or hot, depending on your preference.
  • Vegetable Broth: The broth is what binds all the flavors together. It can be homemade or store-bought and is heated before being added to the soup.
  • Sea Salt: A pinch of sea salt enhances the flavors of the soup. You can adjust this according to your taste.
  • Day-Old Crusty Bread: A great way to use leftover bread, it’s added to the soup to provide body and texture.
  • Large Egg: The egg is gently poached in the soup itself, providing a rich, creamy element that beautifully contrasts the robust flavors of the soup.

Ingredient Tips 

  • Olive Oil: Use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Garlic: Choose fresh, firm garlic cloves. The thinner you slice them, the faster they’ll cook and infuse the oil with flavor.
  • Sweet Hungarian Paprika & Smoked Paprika (Pimentón de la Vera): These two paprika types each add a unique flavor to the soup. Store paprika in a cool, dark place to keep it fresh and maintain its flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth: You can use either homemade or store-bought broth. For the best flavor control, opt for a low-sodium version if buying from the store so that you can adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  • Sea Salt: Use sea salt for a more natural and subtle flavor. Remember, you can always add more later, so start with a small amount and adjust as necessary.
  • Day-Old Crusty Bread: This is a great way to use leftover bread. Any crusty bread, like a baguette or sourdough, will work well. If your bread is still fresh, but you want to make the soup, toast it lightly to mimic the texture of day-old bread.
  • Large Egg: Use fresh eggs for the best results. When poaching in the soup, crack the egg into a small bowl first, then gently slide it into the soup to avoid breaking the yolk.
  • Preparation of Ingredients: Make sure to chop your ingredients into sizes that are easy to eat. If you want a chunkier soup, leave your ingredients larger. For a smoother soup, chop them smaller or consider blending the soup at the end.

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.

  • Paleo

The bread in this soup is not Paleo-friendly, but you could use grain-free paleo bread instead.

  • Gluten-free

Use gluten-free bread to make this recipe suitable for gluten-free diets.

  • Whole30

To 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.

  • Vegan

For 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.

  • Vegetarian

This soup is already vegetarian as long as the vegetable broth doesn’t contain animal products.

Spanish Garlic Soup ingredients

Recipe Directions

  • Start by thinly slicing 2-3 garlic cloves and cubing or slicing your day-old bread.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • After simmering, taste the broth and add a pinch of sea salt to season, adjusting to your preference.
  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, break a large egg into a small bowl, being careful to keep the yolk intact.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Garlic Soup recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings For The Recipe

Soup recipes are often flexible, and the Spanish Garlic Soup is no exception. Here are some suggestions for 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.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a soup recipe like this Spanish Garlic Soup is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Scaling Up

Multiply the quantities of each ingredient by the number of servings you want to serve more people. 

For instance, if you plan to serve four people, multiply each ingredient by four. It’s important to use a pot or pan that’s large enough to hold the increased volume of ingredients.

  • Scaling Down

If you want to make less, you will do the opposite: divide the quantities of each ingredient by the number of servings you want. For example, if you only want to make half a serving, you divide each ingredient quantity by two.

{Note: One important point is that the taste might change slightly while scaling up or down. Be prepared to adjust the seasoning (salt, pepper, spices) to your taste once all the ingredients are combined.}

What Is Used For Garnishing Spanish Garlic Soup?

Garnishing a soup adds an appealing finishing touch and enhances its visual appeal and flavor. Here are some common garnishes for soup:

  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, chives, or basil add not only a pop of color but also a burst of fresh flavor.
  • Cream or Yogurt: A swirl of cream or a dollop of yogurt can contrast nicely, especially in pureed or spicy soups.
  • Croutons or Toasted Bread: These add a nice crunchy texture to contrast with the smoothness of the soup.
  • Grated or Shredded Cheese: Cheese like Parmesan, cheddar, or feta can be sprinkled over the top for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Seeds or Nuts: Toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or crushed nuts can add a pleasant crunch and boost protein.
  • Citrus Zest or Wedges: A sprinkle of lemon, lime, or orange zest can add a refreshing touch to the soup or served with a wedge for squeezing.
  • Chili Flakes or Fresh Chili: If you like heat, sprinkling chili flakes or some finely chopped fresh chili can be a great addition.
  • Olive Oil or Infused Oils: A drizzle of good quality olive oil or flavored oils like chili or truffle oil can add depth of flavor and a lovely appearance.
  • Microgreens or Sprouts: These can add a gourmet touch to your soup.

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

Absolutely! Many soup recipes can be easily adapted for slow cookers or Instant Pots. While the Spanish Garlic Soup is traditionally made on the stove and comes together quickly, you can make adaptations. Here are the general guidelines:

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.

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

While homemade broth or stock is often more flavorful and lower in sodium and additives, using store-bought broth is a perfectly acceptable shortcut, especially when you’re short on time.

Store-Bought Broth

  • 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.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

Absolutely! The wonderful thing about most soup recipes, including the Spanish Garlic Soup, is their adaptability to different ingredients based on personal preferences, dietary restrictions, or what you have.

  • Meat

While the traditional Spanish Garlic Soup doesn’t typically include meat, you can add cooked, diced chicken or ham for a more substantial version. If you prefer, add thinly sliced, cooked chorizo for a smoky Spanish flair.

  • Fish

Adding seafood could transform this into a completely different dish, but why not if you’re a fan of seafood? Cooked shrimp, white fish, or clams could be added at the end of cooking for a maritime twist.

  • Pasta

Adding small pasta shapes like orzo, ditalini, or small shells would make this soup heartier. Just cook the pasta separately and add it at the end to prevent it from getting too soft and soaking up all the broth.

  • Vegetables

For added nutrition, you could add some vegetables. Spinach, kale, or chard could be wilted into the soup before serving. Diced carrots, bell peppers, or tomatoes could be sautéed with garlic for added flavor.

Soup recipe

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making Soup

Here are some useful tips and tricks to keep in mind while preparing Spanish Garlic Soup:

Prepping Time Tips

  • Prep Your Ingredients: Have all your ingredients measured and ready before cooking. This makes the cooking process smoother and faster.
  • Stale Bread: If your bread is fresh but needs to be stale for this recipe, cut it into chunks and bake it in the oven at a low temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Cooking Tips

  • Watch Your Garlic: Garlic can burn easily, so keep a close eye on it while sautéing. Burned garlic has a bitter taste that can ruin the flavor of your soup.
  • Simmer Slowly: Let the soup simmer gently on low heat. This allows the flavors to meld together for a richer and deeper taste.
  • Egg Timing: When adding the egg, poach it just until the white is set, but the yolk is still runny. A runny yolk adds creaminess to the soup and elevates the flavor.

Ingredient Tips

  • Choose Quality Olive Oil: Olive oil adds a distinctive flavor to the soup. Go for an extra-virgin variety for a fuller, richer taste.
  • Use Fresh Garlic: Fresh garlic has a more potent and richer flavor than old or pre-minced garlic.
  • Broth Choice: Vegetable broth can be store-bought or homemade. If you’re buying it, opt for a low-sodium version to control your soup’s saltiness.
  • Bread Selection: Any crusty bread, like a baguette or sourdough, will work. The staler the bread, the better, as it will hold up more in the soup.
Delicioous Garlic Soup 

Nutritional Values

Spanish Garlic Soup offers several nutritional benefits with its simple yet nourishing ingredients. The garlic provides powerful antioxidants, while the olive oil is a source of healthy fats. 

Adding an egg provides high-quality protein, and if you opt for whole-grain bread, you’ll also get a dose of dietary fiber. Each serving can be part of a balanced diet, providing essential nutrients to fuel your body.

What Are The Total Calories In Soup?

The total calories in a soup can vary greatly depending on the ingredients used, their quantities, and the serving size. For the Spanish Garlic Soup recipe you provided, here is a estimate:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil: 120 calories
  • 2-3 cloves garlic: 10-15 calories
  • 1/2 tsp each of sweet and smoked paprika: negligible calories
  • 2 cups vegetable broth: 30-50 calories (varies based on brand)
  • 1 oz day-old crusty bread: about 75-100 calories (depending on the type of bread)
  • 1 large egg: approximately 70 calories

This adds up to an approximate total of 305-355 calories per serving.

Dietary Restrictions For The Soup

This Spanish Garlic Soup recipe can cater to various dietary restrictions, but some restrictions may require slight modifications. Here are a few common dietary considerations:

  • Gluten-Free: If using a gluten-free bread and ensuring your vegetable broth is also gluten-free, this soup can suit those following a gluten-free diet.
  • Vegetarian: The recipe provided is vegetarian-friendly as it contains no meat or fish products.
  • Vegan: To make this soup vegan, you must omit the egg. A possible substitute could be tofu or a vegan egg replacement.
  • Dairy-Free: The dairy-free recipe contains no milk, cheese, or other dairy products.
  • Nut-Free: This recipe is nut-free, but always ensure that the vegetable broth you use doesn’t contain nut products if you’re catering to a nut allergy.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Bread is a main ingredient in this soup, which wouldn’t be suitable for a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Consider substituting the bread for a low-carb alternative or omitting it altogether.

Health Benefits Of The Soup

Soups can provide numerous health benefits due to the variety of nutrient-rich ingredients they often contain. Here are a few health benefits of consuming Spanish garlic soup:

  • Hydration: Soups, particularly broths, have high water content, which helps keep you hydrated.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Depending on the ingredients used, soups can be packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber. Vegetables, lean meats, beans, lentils, and whole grains can contribute to a balanced, nutrient-dense meal.
  • Weight Management: Soups can be quite filling due to their high water and fiber content, making them an excellent choice for those aiming to maintain or lose weight.
  • Digestion: The liquid form of soup can be easier on the digestive system, making nutrients more easily absorbable.
  • Immunity Boost: Many soups, especially those with a base of bone broth or containing ingredients like garlic and ginger, can help boost the immune system and fight off illness.
  • Comfort: Beyond physical health, the warmth and flavors of soup can offer psychological comfort and well-being, especially when one is feeling under the weather.

Nutrition Table 

Spanish Garlic Soup Nutrition Table

Substitutes For Spanish Garlic Soup

Making this Spanish Garlic Soup recipe suitable for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diets can be achieved with a few adjustments:

Vegan Substitute

  • Egg: The traditional version of this soup uses an egg, which you would need to omit or replace to make it vegan. 
  • Tofu: Tofu could be used as a vegan substitute. Silken tofu can provide a similar texture to boiled eggs when added toward the end of the cooking process.

Vegetarian Substitute

  • The recipe provided is already vegetarian-friendly as it contains no meat or fish. However, always ensure the vegetable broth you use is vegetarian, as some broths may contain animal-derived ingredients.

Gluten-Free Substitute

  • Bread: Bread is a primary ingredient in this soup. To make the soup gluten-free, replace regular bread with a gluten-free variant. Make sure also to verify that your vegetable broth is gluten-free.

How Can I Make Soup Lower In Sodium? 

Reducing the sodium in your Spanish Garlic Soup is simple and can be done without sacrificing flavor. Here are a few tips:

  • Use Low-Sodium Broth: Many store-bought broths are high in sodium. Opt for a low-sodium version to cut down the salt content significantly.
  • Limit Added Salt: A pinch of sea salt is included in the recipe. If you’re watching your sodium intake, you can either decrease the amount used or omit it entirely.
  • Boost Flavor with Herbs and Spices: Increase the flavor of your soup with additional herbs and spices, such as thyme, rosemary, or more paprika, to make up for any loss of flavor due to less salt.
  • Add Fresh Lemon Juice or Vinegar: A splash of acidity can heighten the other flavors in the soup, reducing the need for extra salt.
  • Homemade Broth: If you have the time, make your own broth at home. This allows you to control the amount of sodium you add.

How Can I Make Spanish Garlic Soup Lower In Sugar?

Making soup lower in sugar is typically not a challenge as most traditional soup recipes, including the Spanish Garlic Soup, contain little added sugar. However, here are some general tips if you’re looking to minimize sugar content further:

  • Avoid Sweetened Broths or Stocks: Some commercially prepared broths and stocks may contain added sugars for flavor. Always check the labels, opt for unsweetened versions, or make your own at home.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Canned or processed ingredients may contain added sugars as preservatives. Opting for fresh vegetables, meats, and other ingredients can reduce sugar content.
  • Monitor Carb-Rich Ingredients: While not an issue with the Spanish Garlic Soup, some soup recipes might include ingredients like sweet potatoes or corn which naturally have higher sugar content. Consider substitutions if needed.
  • Be Mindful of “Hidden” Sugars: Ingredients like ketchup, certain sauces, or some canned tomatoes can have added sugars. Again, always check the labels.
Spanish Garlic soup

How To Serve The Spanish Garlic Soup In The Best Way?

Serving soup in a visually appealing and delicious way can truly enhance the dining experience. Here are some tips on how to serve Spanish Garlic Soup:

Serve Hot 

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


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.


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

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe

Choosing the perfect side dish to complement your Spanish Garlic Soup can enhance your dining experience by adding different flavors and textures. Here are a few suggestions:

  • 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).
Spainsh Garlic soup

Storage And Repurposing

To store the Spanish Garlic Soup, let it cool before refrigerating it in an airtight container that lasts 3-4 days. For repurposing, try using it as a flavorful base for other soups or stews. Adding cooked vegetables or proteins can give this robust soup a new twist.

How Long Can We Store The Spanish Garlic Soup?

Spanish Garlic Soup can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days like most homemade soups. Always use an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent contamination.

You can freeze the soup if you’d like to store it longer. Properly stored in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag, it should maintain the best quality for about 4 to 6 months but will remain safe beyond that time.

{Note: Keep in mind that the soup contains an egg, which may change in texture once frozen and then reheated. It’s best to consume the soup within the refrigeration timeframe.}

How Long Does Spanish Garlic Soup Typically Last In The Refrigerator?

Homemade soup typically lasts about 3-4 days in the refrigerator when stored properly in airtight containers. This timeframe is a general guideline and can vary based on the specific ingredients in the soup.

For example, soups containing seafood or dairy may not last as long as those made primarily with vegetables or meats. Always check the soup for signs of spoilage before reheating, including changes in smell, color, or texture.

Can I Make Spanish Garlic Soup In Advance?

Yes, you certainly can make Spanish Garlic Soup in advance! Soups are one of the best dishes to make ahead of time.

There are a few steps to take to ensure your soup stays fresh and tasty:

  • Cooling: After cooking your soup, let it cool completely before storing it to avoid bacterial growth.
  • Storing: Store your soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating: When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stove over medium heat until it is hot, stirring occasionally.

{Note: Since this recipe includes an egg, which is best when freshly cooked, you should consider adding the egg when reheating the soup instead of when making it in advance. This way, the egg will be freshly poached and have the best texture.}

Spanish Garlic Soup recipe

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.

Can I Freeze Soup?

Yes, most soups freeze exceptionally well, and Spanish Garlic Soup is no exception. Here’s how to do it properly:

  • Cool the Soup: Allow the soup to cool completely before freezing. Placing hot soup directly in the freezer can lower the overall temperature of your freezer, potentially causing other foods to thaw partially.
  • Package Correctly: Use freezer-safe containers or bags. If using containers, leave some space at the top, as the soup will expand when it freezes.
  • Store in Portions: If possible, freeze the soup in individual portions. This makes thaw only what you need easier without defrosting the whole batch.
  • Label and Date: Always label your containers with the contents and date. Soup can be stored in the freezer for 4-6 months.
  • Thaw Safely: When you’re ready to eat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave. You can also reheat frozen soup directly on the stovetop over low heat.

Reheating And Repurposing

Reheating and repurposing leftovers can be an art in itself. Here are some tips for your Spanish Garlic Soup leftovers:

  • Reheating Safely: Reheat the soup in a pot over medium heat on the stovetop until it’s hot. If you’re reheating in a microwave, stir it halfway through the heating process to avoid cold spots.
  • Add Fresh Ingredients: Freshen up your leftovers by adding new elements. Fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon, or a sprinkle of cheese can lift up the flavors. You could add new veggies, proteins, or grains for a different texture and flavor.
  • Make Something New: Consider using your leftover soup as a base for a new soup. For example, blend the leftover garlic soup to create a creamy soup base, then add cooked vegetables or protein for a completely new dish.
  • Storing Properly: If you’re storing leftovers, quickly cool the soup and refrigerate it within two hours of cooking.
  • Freezing: If you want to freeze the soup, do it without the egg. When you’re ready to have it, you can reheat the soup and poach an egg directly in the hot soup.
Garlic Soup

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

While making Spanish Garlic Soup, or any soup for that matter, does not require any special culinary tools, having some basic kitchen utensils can enhance the cooking process. Here’s a list:

Large Saucepan Or Soup Pot

A good-quality, heavy-bottomed pot is important for even heat distribution, preventing scorching.

Knife and Cutting Board

A sharp knife and sturdy cutting board are essential for preparing ingredients.

Stirring Spoon

A wooden or heat-resistant silicone spoon is useful for stirring the soup as it cooks.


A ladle is great for serving the soup, especially if it’s a large batch.

Measuring Spoons And Cups

Ensuring correct measurements of ingredients can impact the end result, especially for the seasoning and liquids.

Microplane Or Garlic Press

For finely mincing or grating the garlic.

Bowls For Serving

Soup bowls or mugs suitable for hot liquids are needed for serving.

Heat-Resistant Spatula

Useful for scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent ingredients from sticking and burning.

Pros And Cons Of Spanish Garlic Soup

Pros Of Spanish Garlic Soup

  • Rich in Nutrients: Garlic is known for its health benefits, including boosting the immune system and reducing blood pressure. Moreover, using vegetable broth can provide a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Comforting and Hearty: Spanish Garlic Soup is a filling dish perfect for a cozy dinner, providing comfort and warmth.
  • Versatile: You can add other ingredients to suit your taste or dietary needs. For example, add vegetables or substitute the egg with tofu for a vegan version.
  • Budget-Friendly: The ingredients for this soup are basic and inexpensive. It’s a great way to use up day-old bread.
  • Easy to Prepare: Despite its rich flavor profile, this soup is fairly simple to cook. It is perfect for beginners in the kitchen.

Cons Of Spanish Garlic Soup

  • Might Be Too Garlicky for Some: The strong garlic flavor might be up to someone else’s liking.
  • Can Get Soggy: The bread in the soup can become quite soggy, especially when the soup is stored for later use. Some people might prefer something else to this texture.
  • High in Sodium: Depending on the broth used, the soup could be high in sodium. However, you can manage this using a low-sodium broth or adjusting the added salt.
  • Egg Poaching Requires Skill: Poaching an egg can be challenging for some people. However, this issue can be resolved with practice or using egg substitutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Chicken Broth Instead Of Vegetable Broth In This Recipe?

Absolutely! You can substitute vegetable broth with chicken or beef broth for a different flavor.

I’m Not A Fan Of Paprika. Can I Omit It?

The paprika gives the soup a unique flavor, but if you don’t like it, you can omit it or replace it with another spice, such as cumin or black pepper.

Can I Add Other Vegetables To This Soup?

Yes, you can add other vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, or spinach for a more hearty soup.

Can I Make This Soup Creamy?

Yes, if you want a creamy soup, you can blend the soup before adding the bread and egg.

I Don’t Have Day-Old Bread. Can I Use Fresh Bread?

Day-old bread is typically used because it absorbs the broth well. If you only have fresh bread, you could lightly toast it first to achieve a similar effect.

Is This Soup Spicy?

This soup has a mild spice from the smoked paprika. You could add a dash of cayenne pepper if you prefer a spicier soup.

Can I Use Garlic Powder Instead Of Fresh Garlic?

Fresh garlic is recommended for this recipe for its flavor. However, if you only have garlic powder, use 1/8th teaspoon for each garlic clove.

How Can I Make This Soup Vegan?

To make this soup vegan, you could omit the egg or replace it with tofu or a plant-based egg substitute.

Can I Use A Different Type Of Bread?

Yes, any crusty bread should work in this soup. The main goal is to have bread that will hold up in the soup and not become too mushy.

I Don’t Have A Fresh Egg. Can I Use An Egg Substitute?

The fresh egg adds a special touch to this soup, but if you don’t have one, you could use an egg substitute or leave it out entirely.

Discover The Timeless Elegance Of Spanish Garlic Soup

Discover The Timeless Elegance Of Spanish Garlic Soup

5 from 8 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time





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. 


  • Olive Oil

  • Thinly sliced Garlic

  • Sweet Paprika (Hungarian) 

  • Paprika (Smoked) (Pimentón de la Vera)

  • Heated Vegetable Broth

  • Sea Salt

  • Sliced/Cubed Day-Old Crusty Bread

  • 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.


  • 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.
Hanna Barnes

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