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Sopa de Ajo or Spanish garlic soup
Sopa de Ajo or Spanish garlic soup Copyright Savin Mattozzi/Euronews
Copyright Savin Mattozzi/Euronews
Copyright Savin Mattozzi/Euronews

Meal of the Autumn: Europe’s five most iconic and belly-warming soups

By Savin Mattozzi
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Euronews Culture is taking a look at some of Europe’s most iconic and tummy-warming soups, perfect for autumn meals.

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The weather is cooling down, jumpers are coming out, and the seasonal sniffles are arriving. That can only mean one thing: it’s soup season.

Every country around the world has their own unique way of making us feel cozy during these chilly days, and the following list comprises some of Europe’s most delicious soups to dig into.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and if your favourite soup didn’t make the cut this time, it still might be featured in a future story... Watch this (cooking) space. We count down to one of our favourites - with a handy recipe to boot. 

5) Borscht

Popular in Eastern Europe, borscht is a type of red beet soup that can be enjoyed either hot or cold. Although the origins are contested, it is often thought to have originated in Ukraine. Its name comes from the Proto-Slavic name for cow parsnips, which are thought to have been one of the main ingredients in the original soup.

Its bright red colour is hard to miss and now consists of cabbage, beets, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic. Many add in beef or beans to make it a bit more filling. It is also often served with sour cream and dill.

4) Matzo ball soup

A signature dish from the Ashkenazi Jewish community, this chicken noodle soup has an Eastern European Jewish touch that replaces the common noodle: matzo.

Largely seen as the ‘Jewish dumpling,’ the matzo is a fluffy ball made from matzo meal / left over matzo, eggs and water. Perfect for when you want a simple soup to calm your nerves after a long day.

3) Avgolemono soup

This silky, homey, lemon chicken rice soup is sure to cheer you up on a rainy autumn day. Originating in Greece, this soup is just heavy enough to fill you up with just one bowl without leaving you feeling overwhelmed.

The star ingredient of this soup is the avgolemono sauce, a creamy combination of hot chicken broth, eggs, and lemon juice. Imagine chicken soup with a tangy, refreshing twist.

2) Kharcho Beef Soup

Coming in from Georgia, this beef soup is packed full of spices and a whole lot of flavour to give you a wakeup call. This soup has everything you could possibly want: veggies, warmth, meat, and enough spice to clear up any flu congestion you might have.

The key ingredient of this soup is a spice mixture called khmeli-tsuneli which gives it an incredibly rich and savoury taste. You can enjoy this with a nice loaf of sourdough bread.

1) Sopa de Ajo

And now for our top spot... Not the most complex nor the heaviest, this Spanish soup is the perfect combination of easy, filling and savoury that will have you coming back for seconds. Meaning literally garlic soup in English, its name tells it all. The base is essentially garlic, olive oil and paprika, but the combination of these three ingredients hits your tastebuds (and soul) in just the right way.

It is incredibly easy to make and you only need a few ingredients that you most likely already have in your cupboards.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of olive oil

A head of garlic

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2 tablespoons of smoked paprika

2 eggs

1/4 cup of white wine

4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth

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Salt to taste

Dried bread or croutons

Savin Mattozzi/Euronews
Ingredients for the Spanish garlic soup Sopa de AjoSavin Mattozzi/Euronews

How to make it:

You are going to slice all of your garlic and place in a small bowl or plate to the side. Make sure to not cut them too thin - you’ll want them to maintain their shape.

In a large pot, pour in your olive oil and put the flame on medium low while you add in your garlic. Let the garlic get fragrant but don’t cook it too much. Just a little bit of colour.

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At this point, you are going to pour in your wine and cook it for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is a bit thicker. Then, add in your paprika and salt. Mix well for about a minute.

Take your chicken or vegetable broth and pour it in. Mix it well for about 30 seconds and keep it on a medium flame for about 10-15 minutes.

Savin Mattozzi/Euronews
The nearly completed Sopa de AjoSavin Mattozzi/Euronews

When the timer is almost done, take two eggs and scramble them in a small bowl. Then slowly pour them into the soup and stir. The result should be strands of eggs that look almost like a galaxy.

Pour your soup into a bowl and dunk some dried bread or croutons in to absorb all of that garlic goodness, and you are ready for a cozy night in. Because your breath will smell like garlic afterwards… 

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Still, worth it. 

¡Buen provecho!

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