Born from humble origins, this classic Spanish soup can be pulled together with minimal fuss and mostly from pantry staples. Use the best-quality ingredients you can lay your hands on and this peasant dish will deliver humbling results.
- 12 cloves garlic
- 90 g (2 slices) wholemeal sourdough bread, cut into 2 cm pieces
- 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tsp thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp paprika, plus extra to serve
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp flaked or slivered almonds
- 1–2 tsp sherry vinegar
- salt and black pepper
- 2 eggs
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Place the almonds and bread on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Wrap 8 garlic cloves in foil and place on the tray. Transfer to the oven and cook for 3–4 minutes until the almonds and bread are golden, then remove and set aside. Continue to cook the garlic for a further 15–17 minutes until soft. Cool briefly then slip the garlic cloves from their skins.
Meanwhile, finely slice the remaining garlic. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 6–7 minutes until lightly golden. Add the thyme, paprika and toasted bread and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Whisk the eggs until well combined. Stirring constantly, slowly pour the eggs into the saucepan and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Add the sherry vinegar and season to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with roast garlic and almonds and scatter over the extra thyme. Serve immediately.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgi Larby.
Bowl in blue stone (far right) from The Chef and The Cook.