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The Northern Myth

Sep 14, 2017

Beating the Dreaded Lurgi – one bowl of Sopa de Ajo at a time.

Sopa de Ajo - a soup that can "cure any form of the Dreaded Lurgi (cough, cold or ‘flu), probably cancer and definitely climate change."

This is a recipe for garlic soup that the friend of mine who passed it one reckons could “cure any form of the Dreaded Lurgi (cough, cold or ‘flu), probably cancer and definitely climate change.” Her annotations/modifications to the original recipe by Marion Bull are in red.

I cannot but help but agree—my -ex used to make this a version of this great soup from her country around Marseille in southern France and it cured many a malady in our day.. 

2 generous tablespoons olive oil
8 large cloves garlic, minced [or 50 cloves – depends on your taste]
1 large slice of stale bread per serve of soup
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
3 cups water and 3 cups of chicken stock [don’t use water; use stock – unless you want 20 litres of soup]
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste [don’t use salt; there’s plenty in the stock]
4 bay leaves
3 eggs, beaten well

Boil your water and stock with the bay leaves and 2 teaspoons salt. Once it boils, keep it at a simmer. [Nup. Do step 2, then add step 1 into the same saucepan – save on dishes]

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pot over low/medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant but not brown, about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn, 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the paprika and stir to coat everything.

Ladle in boiling water and cold stock; do not remove bay leaves. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste the broth, and add salt as needed. Remove bay leaves.

Stir the soup pot in wide circles, and slowly stream the beaten eggs into the pot. You want them to turn into wisps and ribbons, not clumps, so keep stirring for a few extra seconds, after everything is added.

Place a slice of bread in each dish.  Ladle soup over it.  Serve immediately. [lash with cracked black pepper – works well with stale-ish sourdough]

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The original recipe was published at Food52 and is credited to Marion Bull.

Photo: Eric Moran

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