National Dish of Castile and León Castilian Garlic Soup
|large cloves garlic||8|
|extra virgin olive oil||¼ cup|
|sweet paprika||1 tbsp.|
|cayenne pepper||½ tsp.|
|chicken stock||6 cups|
|oloroso sherry||¼ cup|
|ground cumin||¼ tsp.|
|pieces crusty bread (½ inch thick slices)||4|
|pinch saffron threads||1|
|Freshly grated Parmesan cheese|
One of the most traditional dishes of the region is Sopa de Ajo or Castilian Garlic Soup. It originated as a peasant dish by shepherds; garlic and leftover bread were used to make a hot meal on cold nights. Eggs were sometimes added to the soup. It is also said to be a known hangover cure in Castile and León.
Directions for Preparing Castilian Garlic Soup
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and gently sauté the cloves of garlic for about four (0:04) minutes until golden brown.
- Remove the garlic from the pot and set aside.
- Take the pot off the heat and add the sweet paprika and cayenne to flavor the oil.
- Stir in the chicken stock and sherry, then return the pot to the stove.
- Add the saffron threads and cumin.
- Use a fork to crush the previously sautéed cloves of garlic, then add it to the soup.
- Season the soup with adequate salt.
- Place the lid on the pot and let it simmer for about fifteen (0:15) minutes.
- While the soup simmers, toast the slices of bread on both sides, then set aside.
- Break the eggs one at a time in the soup, and poach each egg for about two (0:02) minutes until the white firms and seals the yolk inside.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls, then add a poached egg into each bowl.
- Place a slice of toasted bread over the egg and sprinkle grated cheese over the top.
- Place the bowls of soup, eggs and bread onto a tray, then put the tray into a hot oven.
- Broil until the cheese melts, then remove from the oven.
- Serve hot.
In Castile and León, more than 60% of all of Spain’s heritage sites are found (architectural, artistic, cultural, etc.). All of which translate into: 8 World Heritage sites, almost 1800 classified cultural heritage assets, 112 historic sites, 400 museums, more than 500 castles, of which 16 are considered of high historical value, 12 cathedrals, 1 concathedral, and the largest concentration of Romanesque art in the world.
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