Randy Mayor; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
Recipe from Cooking Light

This classic soup hails from the Castilian region of Spain and features serrano ham, smoked paprika, and lots of garlic. For more flavor and protein, break an egg into each bowl, top with the garlic-and-ham broth, and bake in the oven until the eggs are set. Top Sopa de Ajo Castellana with homemade paprika croutons.


  • Soup:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 ounces Spanish serrano ham or prosciutto, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 3 (15.75-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • Croutons:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed hearty country bread (about 4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • Remaining ingredient:
  • 4 large eggs


  1. To prepare soup, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Add ham and 1 teaspoon paprika; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in cumin, pepper, saffron, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. To prepare the croutons, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and 1 crushed garlic clove in a large bowl. Add the bread cubes, tossing to coat. Place bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until toasted. Sprinkle bread cubes with 1/2 teaspoon paprika; toss well.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
  5. Break 1 egg into each of 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the broth mixture evenly among bowls. Place bowls on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. Top each serving with croutons.

August 2001

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 238
  • Calories from fat: 38%
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 2.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Carbohydrate: 20g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Cholesterol: 218mg
  • Iron: 1.8mg
  • Sodium: 1058mg
  • Calcium: 53mg