When my husband and I visited Spain in 1987, one of the dishes I fell in love with was garlic soup...I had never heard of it and found it on the menu in both Northern Portugal, during a very short visit across the Minho River and also in the northern regions of Andorra on the border between Spain and France. Not sure why the coincidence of finding it near two different borders, but there you have it...
I've tried to reproduce it several times and also found some recipes in one of my Portuguese cookbooks. I played with the recipes and came up with a couple of versions...This is the simplest
Sopa de Ajo - Garlic Soup
This soup is very popular in the northern parts of Portugal and northeastern Spanish-Basque areas close to the Pyrenees and Andorra. It is a very strong tasting and rich soup due to the amount of garlic and butter. You may wish to sauté the garlic in less butter, or cut the amount of garlic used. I love it as is.
Serves 4-6 people
A whole large head of garlic, each clove peeled and mashed
1/2 a large yellow onion, sliced very thinly
1/4 lb butter
6 cups of chicken or beef broth (I prefer chicken for this)
Salt and freshly ground white peppercorns to taste (*)
1 piece of bread, toasted, per person- can be cubed
1 raw egg per person (* optional)
In a large saucepan, sauté the mashed garlic and sliced onion slowly in the butter. Don't let the garlic turn brown and bitter.
When onions are translucent transfer garlic, onions and butter to a food processor or blender or press/mash them through a fine mesh sieve.
Add a small amount of broth and process until onion and garlic mix is all smooth. Return to saucepan and add the rest of the broth and seasonings.
If you would like it creamier, substitute some of the broth for half and half or cream.
Place a piece of toast (or cubes) in each bowl and break an egg over it. Ladle the hot soup over the egg and toast.
(*) I use my homemade (unsalted) chicken broth, but if using commercial broths, taste before adding salt. If using the raw egg, be sure you know the source and that the eggs are safe - you can also use a poached egg if you wish.