Garlic Soup

The traditional Spanish recipe for garlic soup soup contains ham and bread and this is a lighter version.

garlic soup

garlic soup

Garlic Soup

This recipe is easy to prepare and only requires turning after 20 minutes.



  • 4 garlic cloves, halved then very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon spicy paprika
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • 1 pinch of salt


  1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a sauté pan (with a lid).
  2. Add the garlic and sauté gently on a low heat with the lid on.
  3. After a few minutes, add the paprika and salt and stir well for a few seconds so that the paprika does not burn.
  4. Add the water and the stock cube.
  5. Turn up the heat and bring it to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Break 4 eggs into the pan.
  8. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes until the whites are set.

Making Garlic Mayonnaise with a Stick Blender

cortijoblog: making mayonnaise with a stick blender


Although traditional garlic mayonnaise or “aïoli” is only made with egg yolks, I wanted to find a recipe that used the whole egg to take full advantage of the eggs that our hens lay.

In a previous post, I described my first way of making mayonnaise with a stick blender using 1 large egg and 250ml of sunflower oil. Although this original method is fine if you have large eggs, it doesn’t tend to work so well if you have younger hens laying smaller eggs. I also wanted a way of making larger quantities and so I developed the method shown on this page.

The mayonnaise only takes a couple of minutes to make. As long as you use large eggs at room temperature, the mayonnaise will set properly. If you have smaller eggs, then I recommend you use three, blending two together in the first part of the process and using the third in the second stage.

The key to success is to slowly raise and lower the stick blender, using a circular motion to incorporate all of the mixture thoroughly. This method works best if you use the long tall jar that comes with the stick blender.

Here is a link to the video of me making this mayonnaise: 



cortijoblog: making mayonnaise with a stick blender


  • 250ml or a cup of sunflower oil
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 4 large cloves of garlic

cortijoblog: making mayonnaise with a stick blender


  1. Put  one of the eggs, the garlic cloves, sunflower oil, mustard and salt into the tall blender bowl.
  2. Using the stick blender, quickly blend all of the ingredients together on the fastest setting possible.
  3. Crack in the second egg.
  4. Gently lower the stick blender to the bottom directly over the egg yolk.
  5. On the fastest setting of the blender, blend for a couple of seconds.
  6. Slowly lift and lower the blender, first by about 5mm and then 10mm.
  7. Continue blending, gradually raising the blender by a couple of centimetres each time.
  8. As you lift and lower the blender, use a circular motion from front to back.
  9. You should be able to see how mixture lightens at the bottom of the bowl as the mixture turns into mayonnaise.

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

We’ve been fairly self-sufficient recently in terms of green vegetables and the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel spouts have kept us going through the winter months. The other day, I spotted some perpetual spinach and so thought I would do something different with it. Here is a recipe for pasta with spinach and ricotta. I used wholewheat macaroni but you could use anything.



  • 200g pasta
  • 200g ricotta
  • fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • cheddar or parmesan cheese, grated
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat some salted water for the pasta.
  2. Wilt the spinach in a frying pan with a splash of water.
  3. Roughly chop the spinach.
  4. Cook the pasta.
  5. Heat some oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic.
  6. Add the spinach, the ricotta and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the frying pan and mix well.
  8. Add some more of the pasta cooking liquid if necessary.
  9. Serve and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Scrambled eggs with garlic sprouts and oyster mushrooms


This is the perfect recipe to make now that the young garlic sprouts are in season but can be made at any time substituting spring onions at other times of the year.

2 eggs per person, beaten
garlic sprouts, chopped
250g oyster mushrooms, cut into strips
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the garlic sprouts until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms, cover and turn down the heat and continue to fry until they are soft and most of the juice has evaporated.

Add a knob of butter to the pan and pour over the eggs. Stir with a spatula until the eggs are cooked.

Serve with rosti potatoes or fried jacket potatoes.




Sopa de Ajo – Spanish Garlic Soup

spanish garlic soup

Spanish garlic soup

Seeing as garlic soup is one of our all-time favourites and we are always happy when it’s included on the “menú del día”, I thought it was about time I learnt to cook it myself – especially as we’ve grown so much garlic this year and the chickens are still laying plenty of eggs.

I tried this recipe the other day and it came out well so am cooking it again tonight. Here is the recipe for 2 for a main meal or 4 for a starter. If there are four of you, I would probably double up on the bread and the ham. Some recipes use a ham bone instead of the diced ham but this is a quick alternative and can be rustled up in no time at all.


8 cloves of garlic (or as many as you like), finely sliced
4 slices of French loaf
olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon spicy paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
25g chopped Serrano ham
1.2 litres chicken stock
2-4 eggs

sopa3Heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a baking tray with foil. Slice the bread, arrange on the tray and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

sopa4Leave to cool for a while and then cut into cubes.

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and gently sauté the garlic until soft but not coloured. Add the ham and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the paprika and chilli powder and stir well before adding the fried bread.

sopa2Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down to a low simmer and crack the eggs into the soup. Cover the pan and leave the eggs to poach for 2-3 minutes and then serve.