Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe (Vegetarian)

– Sopa de Ajo –

garlic soup sits in an ornamental white bowl beside a few slices of golden toasted bread

Spanish garlic soup is a fantastic rustic bread soup recipe that infuses the delicious flavors of fried garlic in olive oil with smokey paprika and a good glug of Spanish sherry vinegar. It’s a perfect winter recipe that is warming and easy to make and is often tagged as an ‘end of the month’ recipe as it uses whatever is usually left in the pantry.

With just 8 easy-to-find ingredients, Spanish garlic soup is full-flavored and can be whipped up in around 30 minutes. This recipe serves 4 people, but can easily be expanded to suit. It’s ideal as a soup starter course or a warming lunchtime meal and should always be served with some fresh toasted bread or croutons.

Vegetable Recipe | Vegetarian Recipe | Easy Side | Soup | Easy Dinner Recipe | Spanish Cuisine | Mediterranean Cuisine | One-Pot Recipe | High in Protein | 30-Minute meal

Serving:

4 people

Ready in:

30 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Fresh toasted bread

About This Recipe

It’s somewhat of a mystery pinpointing exactly where Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup) originated from. Nearly every region of Spain lays claim to this delicious authentic Spanish recipe.

You’ll find Spanish garlic soup everywhere from the azure waters that lap around the Balaeric island of Majorca, to the thriving culinary zone of the Basque Country in the north of Spain. 

Of course, it doesn’t so much matter where the recipe originates but more importantly, why this recipe is so steadfast in Spanish Cuisine.

After your first mouthful, you’ll quickly be swooned by the luscious combination of the toasted bread that’s soaked in olive oil and simmered down with plenty of sliced garlic

The distinctive flavors of the Spanish smoked paprika blend perfectly and are slightly sweetened with a generous glug of Spanish sherry vinegar.

The final result is a dense, rustic bread soup that is both light and warming, and ideal for a winter’s day snack when the weather has turned or end of the month to use up some ingredients you probably have lying around.

Want to discover more food from around Spain?

Check out our Regional foodie guides!

Smoked or sweet paprika?

Plenty of garlic soup recipes call for the use of smoked, or sweet Spanish paprika (or both), but in all honesty, most authentic Spanish garlic soup recipes call for the use of smoked paprika only. This is because the smokiness of the paprika itself perfectly to the toasted bread and when blended with the fried garlic is a perfect combination that simply works!

A steaming bowl of garlic soup sits in a black bowl beside a few slices of golden toasted bread

Is Spanish garlic soup vegetarian?

While this Spanish garlic soup recipe is vegetarian (it uses vegetable broth), authentic Spanish garlic soup recipes call for the use of chicken broth. 

Do you need to use chicken broth? 

If you’re looking to make the authentic Spanish recipe, then yes, chicken stock is required. However, if you’re looking to make a vegetarian-friendly version of this popular Spanish soup, then the easiest way is to substitute the chicken broth with some vegetable broth instead. 

Ideally, take the time to make your own vegetable broth by simmering down some seasonal mixed vegetables, but if you’re short on time, using vegetable stock cubes will also work. If you’re using pre-bought stock, be mindful of adding additional salt to the recipe as stock cubes tend to be very high in salt.

Is Spanish garlic soup vegan?

No, Spanish garlic soup is not considered vegan. Eggs are whisked and then poured into Spanish garlic soup in a similar method to a Chinese egg drop soup. There are plenty of excellent options available to make a vegan garlic soup by using plant-based egg substitutes such as a flaxseed egg or chia egg recipe. 

Poached, beaten, or whisked egg?

Authentic Spanish garlic soup recipes use the same egg drop technique used in Chinese egg drop soup recipes and call for eggs to be beaten or whisked and then slowly poured into the steaming soup

How to get the perfect egg consistency

A tip to get the perfect egg consistency is to lightly whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then add 1 ladle of piping hot broth from the soup into the eggs while continuing to whisk the eggs. Then, slowly pour the whisked egg and broth mixture into the soup. 

garlic soup sits in a black bowl beside some toasted bread.

Equipment needed to make Spanish Garlic Soup

  • 1 large pan (10-12 inches/ 25-30cm) with deep sides around 5-6 inches (12-15 cm)
  • 1 medium-sized pot for preparing the vegetable broth. 
  • Oven with grill feature (or a toaster)

Ingredients

Method (step-by-step)

  • 1 baguette
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked Spanish paprika
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt (Omit if using pre-bought stock)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 large eggs, whisked

Method (step-by-step)

Step 1 – Prepare the bread

  • First, turn on your oven grill to 482°F (250°C).
  • Cut half baguette into inch-wide pieces and place onto a baking tray.
  • Grill for around 6 minutes or until the bread starts to go brown. 
  • Meanwhile in a large pan, heat half of the olive oil and add the bread pieces. 
  • Fry until the bread starts to lightly char, but do not let the bread blacken. 
  • Set the toasted bread pieces aside for use later.

Step 2 – Prepare vegetable broth and garlic

  • In a medium-sized pan, boil some water, and once boiling add the vegetable stock cubes.  
  • (Note: if you’re making your own vegetable stock from scratch, allow extra time to do this first.) 
  • Allow the stock to simmer for 5 minutes while you prepare the garlic.
  • While the stock is simmering, clean the pan thoroughly used to fry the bread, set heat to medium, and add the remaining olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes. The garlic should be golden but be careful not to cook the garlic too long as it goes hard and becomes slightly bitter once burnt. 
  • Add the smoked paprika and stir thoroughly. Cook for around 2-3 minutes.

Step 3 – Add vegetable broth and toasted bread

  • Add the hot vegetable broth to the fried garlic and paprika and stir thoroughly. 
  • Add the toasted bread and simmer for 5-8 minutes with the lid on. Season to taste as required.
  • Once the bread has soaked in the vegetable broth, use a large spoon to break up the bread, all the while stirring the bread pieces through the soup. Simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Step 4 – Add the egg and serve

  • Turn off the heat to the soup and use a small bowl to lightly whisk the eggs. 
  •  Once the eggs are lightly whisked, add around half a ladle of the hot broth to the eggs and continue to whisk. 
  • Next, gently pour the whisked egg mixture into the soup. Use a fork to gently stir the soup as you pour the egg. 
  • Set aside for 5-8 minutes before serving.
  • Meanwhile, turn on your oven grill and lightly grill a few slices of fresh baguette until golden. 
  • Serve with warm toasted bread and a glass of nice red wine.
garlic soup sits in an ornamental white bowl beside a few slices of golden toasted bread

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A black bowl full of garlic soup sits on a countertop beside a few slices of toasted bread

Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe (Vegetarian) - Sopa de Ajo -

Byron
Spanish garlic soup is a fantastic rustic bread soup recipe that infuses the delicious flavors of fried garlic in olive oil with smokey paprika and a good glug of Spanish sherry vinegar. It’s a perfect winter recipe that is warming and easy to make and is often tagged as an ‘end of the month’ recipe as it uses whatever is usually left in the pantry.
With just 8 easy-to-find ingredients, this soup is full-flavored and can be whipped up in around 30 minutes. This recipe serves 4 people, but can easily be expanded to suit. Ideal as a soup starter course or a warming lunchtime meal, and always served with some fresh toasted bread or croutons.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
allow soup to cool 8 mins
Total Time 38 mins
Course afternoon tea, appertizer, Soup, starter, tapas, vegetarian
Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, Mediterranean, Spain, spanish
Servings 4 people
Calories 457 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large pan (10-12 inches/ 25-30cm) with deep sides around 5-6 inches (12-15 cm)
  • 1 medium-sized pot for preparing the vegetable broth.
  • Oven with grill feature (or a toaster)

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

  • 1 baguette
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 cloves of garlic peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked Spanish paprika
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt Omit if using pre-bought stock
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 large eggs whisked

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Prepare the bread

  • First, turn on your oven grill to 482°F (250°C).
  • Cut half baguette into inch-wide pieces and place onto a baking tray.
  • Grill for around 6 minutes or until the bread starts to go brown.
  • Meanwhile in a large pan, heat half of the olive oil and add the bread pieces.
  • Fry until the bread starts to lightly char, but do not let the bread blacken.
  • Set the toasted bread pieces aside for use later.

Step 2 - Prepare vegetable broth and garlic

  • In a medium-sized pan, boil some water, and once boiling add the vegetable stock cubes.
  • (Note: if you’re making your own vegetable stock from scratch, allow extra time to do this first.)
  • Allow the stock to simmer for 5 minutes while you prepare the garlic.
  • While the stock is simmering, clean the pan thoroughly used to fry the bread, set heat to medium, and add the remaining olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes. The garlic should be golden but be careful not to cook the garlic too long as it goes hard and becomes slightly bitter once burnt.
  • Add the smoked paprika and stir thoroughly. Cook for around 2-3 minutes.

Step 3 - Add vegetable broth and toasted bread

  • Add the hot vegetable broth to the fried garlic and paprika and stir thoroughly.
  • Add the toasted bread and simmer for 5-8 minutes with the lid on. Season to taste as required.
  • Once the bread has soaked in the vegetable broth, use a large spoon to break up the bread, all the while stirring the bread pieces through the soup. Simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Step 4 - Add the egg and serve

  • Turn off the heat to the soup and use a small bowl to lightly whisk the eggs.
  • Once the eggs are lightly whisked, add around half a ladle of the hot broth to the eggs and continue to whisk.
  • Next, gently pour the whisked egg mixture into the soup. Use a fork to gently stir the soup as you pour the egg.
  • Set aside for 5-8 minutes before serving.
  • Meanwhile, turn on your oven grill and lightly grill a few slices of fresh baguette until golden.
  • Serve with warm toasted bread and a glass of nice red wine.

Notes

Spanisg garlic soup-nutrition facts

Spanisg garlic soup-nutrition facts

Nutrition

Serving: 180gCalories: 457kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 18.6gFat: 31.9gSaturated Fat: 5.6gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 1804mgPotassium: 538mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2.6gCalcium: 69mgIron: 3mg
Keyword 30-minute-meal, Authentic, bread, bread soup, croutons, Easy Dinner ideas, garlic, garlic soup, Olive Oil, rustic bread, sopa, sopa de ajo, soup, spanish, Spanish cuisine, vegetarian meal, vegetarian soup