National Garlic Day: Garlic soup

National Garlic Day

National Garlic Day

There’s a national day of celebration for just about every day of the calendar. According to the National Day Calendar website(yes, it exists) today is not only National Amaretto day but also #NationalGarlicDay. There are over 300 smelly varieties of this relative of onions, leeks, and shallots. While the superstitious use it to ward off vampires, werewolves, and witches, practitioners of homeopathic medicine believe the power of garlic helps regulate cholesterol, blood pressure, and ward off colds.(This is not medical advice!)

People tend to think that Cuban food is spicy, but the cornerstone of flavor lies in this stinky little bulb. From garlic soup to mojo to sofrito, we use garlic in almost everything. Whenever ANY recipe calls for 2-3 cloves of garlic, I laugh and double it because I really, REALLY, love garlic. I especially love it roasted in a foil packet with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Below I’ve added a recipe for Garlic Soup which is Spanish in origin, yet widely served in Cuban homes and restaurants. My father was fond of soups that reminded him of his childhood. His preferred soup was plantain soup, but as a fervid lover of garlic himself, he often sang the praises of a warm, well-made bowl of garlic soup.

Sopa de ajo - Cuban garlic soup
While traditionally a Spanish soup, it is often made in Cuban homes. Don't let the amount of garlic scare you; the flavor is subtle, not strong.
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  1. 10-12 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  2. 3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1/4 white cooking wine
  4. 1/2 c cubed bread, preferably left out overnight so it hardens a bit
  5. 1 1/2 - 2 tsp smoked paprika, to taste
  6. 6 c chicken broth (beef can also be used)
  7. 4 eggs
  8. S&P to taste
  1. In a large pot, add olive oil and garlic and saute over medium heat until the garlic is soft and golden brown.
  2. Add bread cubes to the pan and cook until the bread is slightly toasted, then add cooking wine and let the bread absorb the wine.
  3. Add paprika and chicken stock and stir together. Do not bring to a boil.
  4. Let the soup simmer over med-low heat 10-15 minutes.
  5. Beat the eggs in a bowl.
  6. While stirring the soup gently, slowly pour the beaten eggs into the pot and let stand five minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy!
Cooking in Cuban

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