Crock-Pot Sopa de Ajo (Castilian Garlic Soup)


  • heads of garlic (approximately 40 cloves)
  • olive oil
  • Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
  • large yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4  ground cumin
  • 1/2  paprika, plus more for garnish
  • Pinch of  saffron
  • 1/2  cayenne
  • russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • chicken broth
  • eggs, poached


While the Basque recipe traditionally calls for day-old-bread to give the soup some textured lift, you can as per our recipe substitute it with potatoes to make the recipe a bit heartier and more crockpot friendly.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small glass baking dish, place 30 un-peeled cloves of garlic. Drizzle over with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, mixing to ensure that the garlic is evenly coated. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and roast the garlic for approximately 30 minutes, until it is soft and golden-hued.

While the garlic is roasting, peel and mince the remaining 10 cloves of garlic. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan; once hot, add the garlic and onion and sauté over medium heat for around 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic is fragrant (but not browned). Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Once the garlic has finished roasting, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Gently un-peel the cloves and set aside (the peels should come off very easily). Discard the garlic peels.

In a crock pot, add the sautéd garlic and onion mixture, the roasted garlic, and all of the remaining ingredients, except for the eggs, and adding more salt and pepper to taste at this stage. Stir to ensure the ingredients are evenly combined. Cook in the crockpot on low heat for 6-8 hours, stirring very occasionally if possible, until the potatoes are falling apart. Break up any remaining large potato pieces with a wooden spoon or a fork.

When the soup has finished cooking, ladle into 4 bowls. Top each with a freshly poached egg and an extra pinch of paprika for colour.

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