This recipe, originally from Cooking Light (see notes for original recipe), has been a hit with everyone I’ve made it for – my family, who loves anything hearty, salty and reminiscent of Spain, my dear friends on Whole30 as well as my hungover roommates. It just hits the spot – especially during those chilly winter months!
And how often do we experience get jamone in the form of soup? For those of you who don’t know, jamone is the Spanish word for ham. There are so many delightful types, but serrano definitely works best for this recipe. It softens up and gives the soup a light pork flavor and adds to the saltiness of chicken stock. Proscuitto and serrano ham is also an awesome treat for those who are watching their health choices because most of the time, it’s only cured with salt – no sugar! Additionally, it’s not filled with any additives that you’ll often find in bacon.
To be honest, the poached egg is probably my favorite part. Finally, the seasoned croutons soaking up the broth take on the most incredible melt-in-your mouth texture and prove that noodles aren’t always needed to be the star of a soup! However, if you’re gluten free or trying to cut out bread, don’t make the croutons. I can assure you this broth is hearty enough to satisfy your appetite! If I’m extra hungry though, I may crack an extra egg into my bowl! The way the poached yolk oozes into the broth is irresistible.
Castilian Garlic Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 32 minutes
For the soup
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ounces serrano jamone, cut into pieces
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons Spanish or smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 3 15.75 ounce cans chicken stock (if on Whole30, use either compliant brands such as Pacific or a chicken bone broth and add an extra 3 teaspoons of salt along with the broth)
- 4 eggs
For the croutons (Skip for GF or Whole30)
- 3 cups cubed bread (1 inch cubes)
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat over to 350 degrees (F).
- Begin by heating the oil in a pot on medium high heat. Add the garlic cloves and stir to brown. Do not allow the garlic to burn!
- Once the garlic is golden, add the jamone and stir for one minute.
- Add the paprika and stir for another 30 seconds.
- Stir in the remaining seasonings and immediately add the chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- If making croutons, begin now, while the soup is simmering.
- Mix together the crouton seasonings.
- Combine the cubed bread, olive oil and garlic in a ziploc bag. Shake well to coat croutons in oil.
- Arrange croutons in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with seasonings.
- Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing once.
- Once the croutons are finished, increase oven temperature to 450 degrees (F).
- Divide broth mixture among 4 bowls. Crack one egg into each bowl. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Add desired croutons to each bowl.
- If you’re gluten free or on Whole30, skip the croutons!
- Original recipe, which this is based from, can be found here: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sopa-de-ajo-castellana-castilian-garlic-soup