How to Make Castilian Garlic Soup (Sopa Castellana)

I took enormous pleasure dunking lots of bread in my soup when I was a child. In advance of eating it, lots of bread, sometimes killing the soup in the process. I occasionally ended up with a disappointing bowl of flavoured soggy bread. Castilian garlic soup is the perfect soup for people who love to dunk bread in their soup. It is perfectly balanced, the bread has absorbed the flavours and then yielded to everything, this soup is the ultimate bowl of comfort. One of, at any rate. 

I first had this soup at Botin in Madrid, Spain. A prelude to my meal of roast suckling pig, which is what I had come to try. Garlic soup though? Lets give that a bash too. What arrived was a bowl of soup rich with bread, stringy egg and a punchy broth. I loved it, and I have had it many times since. 

Where to Eat in Madrid: Roast Suckling Pig at Botín

From Castilla in Spain, a region that I have also visited (and loved), I could see that their cold winters would demand bowls of such hearty goodness. It gets below zero here some days, and it is hot in summer. As with all simple recipes, a good bowl relies on good ingredients. Make your own broth if you can, if you can’t source a good one at your supermarket or butcher. Use old bread, but make it good bread, it makes all the difference. Pale soggy supermarket bread will disintegrate on impact and resemble a toilet roll can to meet its maker. We don’t want that. Lots of garlic, and then paprika, a fresh egg. I usually use Spanish smoked paprika (hot for me, but you can use the milder sweet one if you prefer. This time I used an Hungarian one, a terrific one that I am using in most everything right now, and so the soup is a little more orange than it normally is. 

Enjoy! Take yourself to Spain for your supper. Here is some more reading and travel inspiration also.

The recipe follows after the links. 

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How to Make Castillian Garlic Soup
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How to Make Castillian Garlic Soup


  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika (Spanish for authenticity and smokiness, I like Hungarian here also)
  • half a day old baguette, or the equivalent of good bread, cut into thin slices
  • 1 litre of chicken stock (homemade is best here, or good stuff from the shop)
  • 2 eggs
  • torn flat leaf parsley to serve
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • I prefer to use a large sauté pan for this as it makes it easier and faster to toast the bread and poach the eggs in one batch.
  • Heat the oil over a low heat. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the paprika and stir through, then add the bread in a single layer (do this in batches if using a small plan) so that the bread crisps a bit and absorbs all the lovely garlic and paprika flavour. Cook for a few minutes on each side.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Season to taste, then reduce the heat and make space for each of the eggs, adding them separately so that they poach in the broth. Ladle broth over each egg as they poach so that they poach evenly.
  • When the white is mostly set and the yolk is still runny, turn off the heat. Serve one egg per bowl with the parsley sprinkled on top.
  • Enjoy!



    Written by Niamh
    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.