Monday, December 17, 2007

Castilian Garlic Soup

Don't be intimidated by the lengthy process. You can easily do it all at the same time. This soup gets amazing flavor from the simplest of ingredients. I used saffron because I had it on hand, but I'm sure you could go without. Also, I didn't realize I only had one can of chicken broth. I used water in place of the other two cans, and it was still very flavorful. We didn't miss it at all.

Note: baking" the soup to set the eggs causes it to bubble rapidly - use a big baking sheet to avoid making a mess.

1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 ounces Spanish serrano ham, diced (I just used smoked sandwich ham)
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

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

Preheat oven to 350°.

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

To prepare the croûtons:
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.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

No comments: