This soup has the big flavors and full body that are perfect for a winter dinner. It is finished in the oven like French onion soup, but in this case, instead of melted cheese, there is an egg poached on the surface.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron
- 4 thick slices crusty French bread
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the garlic is soft and golden. Take care not to let it scorch or turn dark brown. Properly cooked, garlic becomes sweet and pungent but loses its sharpness.
2. Stir in the paprika, cumin, and saffron. Heat for 1 minute, until the aromas intensify.
3. Place the bread in the seasoned oil and toast on both sides.
4. Pour the broth in carefully over the bread. Season with the salt and pepper. Bring the broth to a boil and then immediately lower the heat to a low simmer. If the soup boils too rapidly, the bread will break apart. That won't ruin it, but it looks much nicer with whole slices. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary (the saltiness of broth varies).
5. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put 4 ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet. Ladle the soup and a slice of bread into each bowl. Crack an egg into each soup bowl. Slide the baking sheet into the oven (it's much easier than handling each bowl) and bake until the yolks are set, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with the cilantro.
Eggs in Soup
The poached eggs in Spanish Garlic Soup take on the flavor of the broth, and the runny yolks cut the intensity of the garlic. In other soup recipes the eggs are not kept whole, but they still have that poached egg silkiness. In all cases, when adding eggs to soup, stir them in during the last few minutes to prevent overcooking.