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Garlic-Paprika Soup (Sopa Castiliana)
November 22, 2010

Looking around to use up some previously made mushroom broth for risotto, I modified slightly a deeply flavored garlic soup hailing from Spain - the warmth of the paprika and garlic melded with the egg and the mushroom broth was just the ticket for a cold, rainy night. This is an amazingly simple recipe that comes together very quickly. Beef broth is traditional.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 slices baguette or white bread
  • 3-4 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 pinches ground cumin
  • 4 cups mushroom stock (beef stock is more traditional)
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley


  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup kettle or large saucepan. Add the garlic and fry till golden brown. Reserve.
  2. Fry the bread pieces till they are golden brown. Reserve.
  3. Heat the oven to 450F and pre-heat 4 oven-safe soup bowls set on a cookie sheet for spills.
  4. Add a quarter of the paprika to the pan and fry till fragrant ( 15-20 seconds). Add the cumin, the mushroom stock and the rest of the paprika along with the garlic. Break up the garlic with a spoon.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes. Season the soup.
  6. Remove the bowls from the oven, and distribute the soup into them. Break an egg into each bowl, top each with a piece of fried bread and return to the oven.
  7. Cook for about 3 minutes for a soft-poached egg, or 4 if you prefer it almost set.
  8. Remove and serve, topping with the chopped parsley.
  1. To make mushroom broth, I use about 2 oz of dried wild mushrooms ( porcini, shiitake, morels) which I soak for 20 minutes in warm chicken or vegetable broth. After soaking, I pass the broth through a coffee filter set over a sieve to filter out the grit, and use it. I reserve the re-hydrated mushrooms, which I wash, chop, and add back to whatever I am using the mushroom broth for.


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