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.
Cooking Light AUGUST 2001
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
Preheat oven to 350°.
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.
Increase oven temperature to 450°.
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.
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