If you go to Spain in the winter, this is the soup that you're going to have, because it's comfort food. It's full of flavours, textures and a lot of personality.
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 cup sliced jamón serrano or prosciutto
- 4 whole cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp saffron
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
- 4 slices crusty artisan bread (see Note), sliced
- 4 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.
1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
2, Add jamón or prosciutto and cook while stirring, for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly crispy.
3. Stir in garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until golden.
4. Push the jamon and garlic to one side of the pan and place the bread slices on the other side. (Alternatively, you can tear the bread into pieces and stir into the soup after adding spices and stock.) Fry the bread.
5. Add cumin and saffron, allow to roast for a few seconds then add stock, paprika and thyme and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
6. Gently crack the eggs into the soup and poach until whites are opaque. Taste the soup and season with salt if desired.
7. Remove soup from heat and divide broth, eggs, prosciutto, and bread evenly between bowls.
• Luis likes to use day-old bread when making this soup, because it’s dryer and will absorb plenty of flavour from the soup.