Sherry-Garlic Soup with Smoked Paprika  Recipe
Sherry-Garlic Soup with Smoked Paprika

By Faith Durand

This smoky, exotic sherry-garlic soup recipe has maximum flavor with minimum effort

Need something quick and heartening for dinner tonight? Try this soup -- a blend of warm and smoky spice, a whole lot of garlic, and a cup of sherry. It's a quick, efficient recipe that packs lots of flavor.

This soup is inspired by a restaurant in my hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where I had a big bowl of the reddest, smokiest soup you can imagine. It was a thin broth, suitable for sipping out of a mug, and incredibly flavorful. It was topped with crunchy bits of Marcona almonds that made a pleasurable contrast to the thin soup.

Here's my take on this soup -- it's easy and fast, and it requires nothing more than a bit of garlic chopping. It also is a great spotlight for smoked paprika, my favorite spice. (You can find it in upscale supermarkets or spice stores, or order it online from Tienda.com, a company that deals in Spanish foods.) This soup makes a great light lunch, along with a salad. It would also be a delicious first course before a Spanish-inspired meal of seafood and yellow rice.

Sherry-Garlic Soup with Smoked Paprika Recipe

Makes 6 servings.

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 cup amontillado sherry

6 cups turkey broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chopped Marcona almonds, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a deep 4-quart pot set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and turn the heat to low. Cook very slowly for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Don't let the garlic brown. Add the smoked paprika and cook for another minute or two, stirring until the garlic and paprika form an oily red paste.

Add the sherry and turkey broth, and turn the heat to medium-high. Whisk until combined, and bring the soup to a simmer. Turn down to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until ready to eat. Taste and season, if necessary, with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with chopped almonds.

Alternate serving idea:

Just before serving, slip a couple of eggs into the simmering broth and poach them. Serve the garlic soup with a poached egg in each bowl, and crusty bread on the side.

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