This Basque garlic soup recipe makes a gently spiced bread and egg drop soup that’s deliciously rich and hearty. The creamy texture comes courtesy of whisked eggs drizzled into the broth and the deep flavours are thanks to generous amounts of garlic, paprika and sherry vinegar. Ground chillies give the warming soup an extra kick of heat.
If you’re in the increasingly-chilly southern hemisphere where it’s been a brutal winter for so many of you and you’ve cooked every comforting soup in your repertoire, and you’re looking for a new warming winter soup to try, please make this Basque garlic soup recipe.
You’re going to enjoy this gently spiced garlic soup, especially if you like those hearty rustic bread soups, which were originally invented to use up stale bread (which is essentially what this is), such as the traditional Italian ribollita soup, also known as a Tuscan bean, kale and bread soup.
If you’re also a fan of egg drop soups, such as the classic Chinese egg drop soup, where beaten eggs are slowly dropped into the hot soup so they leave delicate trails of creamy egg, which enrich the soup, then you’re definitely going to love this Basque garlic soup recipe.
But before I tell you more about this Basque garlic soup recipe, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or you could contribute to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.
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Basque Garlic Soup Recipe for a Gently Spiced Bread and Egg Drop Soup
Don’t be surprised if this Basque garlic soup recipe doesn’t look familiar to you, even if you’re a lover of Spanish cuisine and have eaten your way through the country and cooked Spanish food at home. Until I spotted the Basque garlic soup recipe that inspired this post, I’d never tasted such a rich and spicy garlicky bread soup in Spain.
If you’ve travelled through Spain in the colder months you would have hugged a bowl or two of the warming Castilian garlic soup or sopa de ajo in a cosy local restaurant or dining room of a castle-like parador, as we’ve done on snowy winter road trips through Northern Spain and Catalunya.
But unless you’ve spent winter in the autonomous Basque Country, which, like Catalunya, has a cuisine all of its own, you may not have come across such a rich and spicy rendition of Spain’s beloved garlic bread soup, as this Basque garlic soup recipe makes.
But I have to say: you’re going to have to trust me that this Basque garlic soup recipe will make you one of the most deliciously-rich soups you’ll ever taste, with deep spicy flavours, as it’s definitely not one of the prettiest plates we’ve presented to you and I’m to blame.
It was one of those crazy days when I was trying to get two recipes done on top of everything else there is to do, and that means finalising the recipe as I prep and cook the dish, plating the dish, styling the table, and getting in Terence’s way while he’s trying to shoot the shots.
I should have saved some croutons to sprinkle on top (as Terence suggested) and drizzled on some chilli oil to make the bowls of broth more appetising. I also should have got a bit more creative, because most of you won’t want more bread with a bread soup. But I was already thinking about the next dish I had to do.
Tips to Making this Basque Garlic Soup Recipe
Just a few quick tips to making this Basque garlic soup recipe as it’s super easy. The original recipe called for the croutons to be baked in the oven, as they traditionally are, but we are without an oven at the moment – it stopped working and needs to be repaired.
I toasted the baguette slices until brown, then spread them out on a tray to cool, then broke them into smallish 3x3cm pieces to create croutons and they turned out just fine. Particularly because there’s one more step, when you need to stir them with olive oil in the pot in which you’re going to make the soup.
Perhaps it’s because we’ve lived in Asia for so long (over a decade) – although we’ve been cooking Asian food since the mid 1980s in Australia – but we love spice and salt and intense flavours.
The original garlicky bread soup recipe that I spotted that caught my eye because it looked so rich and deeply flavoured, turned out to be a little bland for my taste, so I bumped up the spice and seasoning and reduced the amount of stock to create a spicier, richer and heartier soup.
If you’re not a fan of the intense flavours that we love, then do hold back on the amount of spices and seasoning. At least start with half, let it simmer a while, taste, then add more if you like.
And please do what I forgot to do, especially if you’re serving this soup to guests, and save a few croutons to garnish the soup and drizzle a little chilli oil on top. I’ll adjust the recipe tomorrow.
A quick note: I’m still trying to locate the source of the original Basque garlic soup recipe that inspired me to make this and as soon as I find it, I’ll leave the link here.
Basque Garlic Soup Recipe
- 120 g baguette sliced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp paprika Spanish & smoky
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp sea salt to taste
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 eggs whisked
- Toast the baguette slices until brown, spread them out on a tray to cool, then break them into 3x3cm pieces to create croutons.
- In a large pot over medium-high, heat a quarter of a metric cup of olive oil, then add the croutons, and work quickly, stirring continuously from the start so that the bottom croutons don’t soak up all the olive oil. If some pieces are still dry, add another splash of olive oil, and continue to stir the pieces for a few minutes until they’re brown. Reduce the heat to medium if needed so the croutons don’t burn; you want them golden brown, not black.
- Transfer the croutons back to the tray and use a paper kitchen towel to wipe the pot clean of crumbs.
- To the same pot, over medium, add the remaining olive oil, heat the oil, then add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a minute or so, stirring continuously until the garlic is golden, taking care not to burn it. Stir in the tablespoon of paprika, add the stock and salt, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low so the soup can simmer, return the croutons to the pot, stirring them so they’re all submerged and start to soak up the flavours. Then add the sherry vinegar, sugar, chilli powder, and chilli flakes, stir thoroughly to combine, then leave to simmer for 20 minutes or so. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning and spices to suit your palate.
- Just before you’re ready to serve, increase the heat to medium, stir the soup continuously in one direction, and slowly drizzle the whisked eggs into the pot so tendrils of egg form.
- Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. You probably won’t need any more bread… although I quite like dunking toasted baguette slices brushed with extra virgin olive oil into my soup.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make this Basque garlic soup recipe as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.