Sopa de Ajo (Basque Garlic Soup)

March  4, 2014
7 Ratings
Photo by Eric Moran
  • Serves 6
What You'll Need
  • 2 generous tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cubed, stale bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 eggs, beaten well
  1. Boil your water with the bay leaves and 2 teaspoons salt. Once it boils, keep it at a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pot over low/medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add bread cubes. Cook, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn, 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the paprika and stir to coat everything.
  3. Add boiling water; do not remove bay leaves. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste the broth, and add salt as needed. Remove bay leaves.
  4. Stir the soup pot in wide circles, and slowly stream the beaten eggs into the pot. You want them to turn into wisps and ribbons, not clumps, so keep stirring for a few extra seconds, after everything is added. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Natalya Elizabeth
    Natalya Elizabeth
  • Nanda Devi Van Der Veen
    Nanda Devi Van Der Veen
  • stacey
  • RaquelG
  • Judeth
Marian Bull

Recipe by: Marian Bull


42 Reviews

xiao_lan December 7, 2023
Replaced water with chicken broth, and left out the bread because I can’t eat bread. I make this when I’m sick because it’s really easy and the garlic seems to cure me. Recommend.
Natalya E. September 10, 2020
Wasn’t too good. I mean it wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t something I’d make again. Needs more to it.
ErinM724 June 20, 2019
Took advice from this thread and used chicken broth, along with slicing my garlic, of which used 10 cloves. Really flavorful!
Nanda D. January 1, 2017
Aww, this wasn't for me :( I really wanted to love this, because well, garlic is the best. But it tasted like water with garlic boiled in it :( Maybe I did something wrong, or maybe this just is not my thing, haha
Katie C. December 15, 2018
The fix is pretty obvious and worth it bc from the moment I saw "water" and not "chicken stock" (or really any kind of stock) I knew that was an adjustment that had to be made.
Paul M. May 17, 2016
I really thought I would enjoy this but wasn't crazy àbout the soggy bread texture. The aroma was great and I might try to adapt the flavours to a different soup.
stacey March 2, 2016
I wanted to love this soup! I love love LOVE garlic so I figured I couldn't go wrong. Turned out somewhat bland. Maybe my bay leaves were too old or something?
Katie C. December 15, 2018
Use stock.
RaquelG February 20, 2016
My Spanish abuela made this simple soup often, both for myself and my sister, and to feed her six children in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War when money was tight, and protein even more scarce. A wonderful flavor and memory for me and my mom. We eat it often.
sel January 17, 2016
Does anyone have a recipe for creamy white minnestrone soup?
Ali W. January 17, 2016
This soup is so incredibly flavorful!! It's almost surprising how you can get so much flavor out of those few ingredients. Next time I think I'll skip the eggs and a little grating of Gruyere
Judeth February 13, 2015
I had to put it in the fridge to get it away from me!
What a great soup
kumalavula December 10, 2014
a perfect soup for the rainy, pacific northwest evening we are having. now to sweating out all the garlic. this is a hearty, flavorful soup.
Ellie B. October 8, 2014
GASP! This is so amazing lookin'!!!! Garlic anything is good, especially when it's this healthy and has the potential to stink up the whole room. ^_~
SweetTooth September 15, 2014
I really, really enjoyed this recipe! I followed some of the other comments on here and substituted chicken stock for half of the water. I also added more paprika and some cayenne pepper towards the end, which I really enjoyed. My dad thought it was too garlic-y, but you can't please everyone!
remi August 23, 2014
I have eaten this soup in Spain, with a raw egg yolk(which cooks in the broth) floating in the bottom of the bowl, and a splash of good sherry--delish!!
Sarah B. August 17, 2014
i cut this recipe in half for an early dinner tonight. i didn't have bread, so i made pearl couscous to spoon into the soup for more heft. i also finished it at the table with some grated parmesan. oh my goodness! delicious, comforting meal in thirty minutes! thank you so much for sharing. i'm excited to make this part of my repertoire.
Allison T. August 15, 2014
Sounds amazing! I love garlic, this soup sounds right up my alley.
Kristina M. August 13, 2014
I grew up with this soup as my father is from Galicia. We do it a bit differently in that, just before serving, we place a slice of stale bread in each individual bowl and crack a whole egg on top (bowls are oven proof) pop the bowls in the oven on a sheet pan. I think oven is about 400 degrees. Let them cook until egg whites turn white and serve. Bread is less soggy this way and you also get to break the lovely yoke with your spoon which gives it an exquisite flavor!
Lady G. May 18, 2014
"Spanish peasant fair"? "Fare"? Sounds a bit insulting to me...
Thank you for the recipe!
Ray H. May 12, 2014
The fresh leaves of Oregon myrtle, california Bay, or Umbellularia californica are what are more toxic in quantity. they contain umbelline. The flavor is even more intense than the true Bay, Lauris nobilis, available as Mexican laurel.
Arthur I. April 16, 2014