Why is garlic soup so satisfying? It's one of the simplest soups to make, and yet it comes out soothing and utterly calming. Some people have chicken soup; I prefer this stuff. Which isn't to say all are created equal.
I adore this version from Daisy Martinez, which I wrote about over three years ago, and saw no need to try out something different. But a few things really intrigued me about this recipe from Mario Batali's Spain: A Culinary Road Trip.
First was the use of bread. Often in a garlic soup, the bread is only introduced to the soup after it's finished cooking. But here the bread is sautéed in the beginning, then added to the soup with the stock. It breaks down over the course of the cooking process to create a silky, luscious body. Second is the hot pimentón. This Spanish smoked paprika adds a depth and robustness to the soup, which is totally at odds with how much time is actually spent on it.
The final flourish is a poached egg, which almost makes the soup too rich. Not bad for a bunch of pantry items.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 pound stale bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 poached eggs
Pour the olive oil into a pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the cubed bread. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the bread is lightly browned. Toss in the garlic, pimentón, and a pinch of salt. Stir well, and cook for 3 minutes.
Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
Poach the eggs. Follow this guide.
Ladle some soup into a bowl and top with a poached egg.