Andalusian Garlic Soup with Eggs and Croutons

Spain is where you can trace the origins of garlic soup. Various regions of Spain added their influences on the original recipe for garlic soup.  The recipe for garlic soup with eggs and croutons we have is from the Andalusia region of Spain.  Many Chefs consider the Spanish recipes for garlic soup as a souped- up version of French onion soup (no pun intended).  The bold flavors are magnified and the soup is easier to prepare compared to French onion soup.

Another important factor which distinguishes this garlic soup from French onion soup is its medicinal properties.  According to reports from party goers in Spain, nothing works better after long night of partying then sopa de ajo or garlic soup with eggs and croutons.  We can’t attest to its hangover cure but we are sure you will enjoy this delicious Spainish soup.

Andalusian Garlic Soup with Eggs and Croutons
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tbsp.  extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 garlic bulb, unpeeled and broken into cloves
4 slices day old ciabatta or baguette, broken into pieces
5 c. chicken stock
Pinch of saffron
1 tbsp. white vinegar
4 eggs
Polenta (ready made in tube)
Salt and ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put 1 tbsp. evoo in roasting pan , adding the garlic and bread, and roast for 20 minutes, until the garlic is soft and the bread is dry. Let stand until cool.

Squeeze out the polenta from the tube onto a chopping block and spread out to about ½ inch thick.  Cut into ½ inch squares.

Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins into a food processor or blender. Add the bread and 1 ¼ cups of chicken stock. Then process or blend until smooth. Pour into a pan. Pound the saffron in a mortar and stir in a little of the remaining chicken stock, then add to the soup with enough of the remaining chicken stock to thin the soup as needed.

Melt butter in a frying pan and cook the squares of polenta over high heat for about 1 – 2 minutes, stirring until beginning to brown.  Drain on paper towel. Season the soup and gradually reheat. Bring a large frying pan of water to a boil. Add the vinegar and reduce heat to simmer.  Open an egg in a saucer. Circulate the water with a spoon and drop the egg into the middle of the agitated water. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs and poach them for 2 – 3 minutes until they are set. Lift out the eggs using a draining spoon and place each one in one of four bowls.

Ladle the soup over the poached eggs, sprinkle the polenta croutons and parsley on top and serve.

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