Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup)

Serves 6

While this soup is not very nutritious, it is easy to make and sings out “Camino Francais”…

  • 6 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves (or more) – minced
  • 1 1/4 L water – boiling
  • 300gm thinly-cubed stale bread (6 slices)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 eggs – optional
  • Chopped parsley

In a soup pot heat the oil, and fry chopped garlic and bread cubes until lightly golden.

Then stir in the paprika and immediately pour boiling water and salt in the pot. Cover and simmer 20min.

At this stage the bread should almost dissolve in the broth.

Optional: Beat eggs together and gently pour and stir them into the hot soup. Let eggs cook until they have set, the soup will thicken.

Sprinkle some parsley in each soup plate when serving.

 Caldo Gallego

Tom Friesen

Serves 6

Stock:  either soup bones/meat or stock cubes

Note : Leave bones/ meat out if serving to vegetarians.

  • 1 large bunch turnip greens or kale, Swiss chard
  • 1 cup white beans (Lubias) sold in jars or cans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 chorizos
  • Spices: garlic with red pepper, nutmeg, cumin perhaps a little sugar.

In a soup kettle (4L), place soup bones (or, use stock cubes). Cover with water and bring to a rapid boil then skim, and cook over moderate heat, about 1 hour.

Wash and chop greens and add to kettle with beans and cook, partly covered for ½ hour.

Sauté onion and garlic then add to soup.

Check stock and add more water and salt if necessary.  Add cubed potatoes and if using, chorizos. Stir once and cook for 45 min at low heat or until potatoes are done.

The longer this is cooked, the richer the taste becomes.

Potaje de Garbanzos y Espinacas – Chickpea and Spinach soup

Eneida Fernande-Sharif

  • 1 ¼ cups chickpeas
  • 2 onions – one whole, one chopped
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 slices white bread
  • Pepper & sat

Day 1: Soak the chickpeas overnight in water.

Day 2: without chopping add one onion, the carrots and bay leaf to the soaking water, plus salt. Pour on enough water to cover all ingredients Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft. Meanwhile, wash the leaf spinach and sauté the other chopped onion and garlic in olive oil. Sprinkle on the paprika, add the spinach and cook for a short time.

Remove the bay leaf, onion and carrots from the chickpeas and mash the carrots and onion with the white bread. Combine this mash with the chickpeas and add the spinach mixture.

Continue to cook for 15 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Albondigas  (Meatballs)

Meatballs are best prepared in the morning, once the albergue is clean and quiet.


  • Ground beef and Ground pork (carne molida)
  • 1 onion – diced fine
  • Parsley – chopped
  • Old bread
  • Milk
  • Dried herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 29
  • Sofrito: Large can of whole tomatoes
  • Cloves of garlic – diced
  • Herbs

Prepare in advance:

In a bowl, mix equal amounts of ground pork and ground beef, lots of chopped parsley and finely diced onions. Take some old bread and soak it in milk for 10 min and then squeeze it out – the bread will make the meatballs light.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly with salt, pepper, dried herbs and let it rest in the fridge, covered – it gets better when the flavours are allowed to sit.

Before dinner:

One and a half hour before dinner to make meatballs and coat each one with flour.

Brown them in small batches in a large frying pan.

Make the sofrito.

Crush the tomatoes and fry them with garlic and herbs.

Once all the meatballs are fried, add them to the sofrito and let it all simmer together for 20 min.

Lentils – green or French (le Puy)

Lentils are an excellent substitute for meat or fish.

Here is an easy lentil dish, a sure hit with vegetarians.

Serves 2 – 3

  • 1 cup of lentils – rinsed
  • ½ onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 1 large tomato – chopped
  • 1 L water
  • Thyme
  • Fennel seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley or basil – chopped, sprinkled on when serving

Put everything in a small pan, simmer for 30 min.

Serve as a side dish or as a substitute for soup.

Drizzle lentils with olive oil and ladle it over rice, quinoa or pasta.

Or, enjoy it cold, served with feta cheese.

Pasta with Tomatoes and Garlic

Mary Virtue

This is a great meal in August, September and October when the tomatoes are ripe and plentiful – you may find villagers who would be happy to give you some.

This recipe is for 8-10 people and can be expanded to 40 with ease….just more chopping and more pasta.

  • 3 kilos tomatoes
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of basil
  • Grated cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, Manchego …)
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta

Rough cut the tomatoes over a serving bowl and let the juices run.  Smash and mince the garlic cloves and add to tomatoes.  Add lots of pepper and some salt.  Liberally pour olive oil, mix it in and let tomatoes sit while bread is cut and pasta water is put on the boil.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour over the tomatoes.  Toss, add basil leaves (to taste) and serve with grated cheese and fresh bread.

 Tarta de Santiago

Mary Virtue, with thanks to Brita from Vienna

  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3-4 cups ground almonds (450gms)
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar – for decoration

Beat the eggs and slowly add sugar until it is light coloured and thick.  Beat in other ingredients.

Pour into greased and floured 9” round cake pan – spring form is the best.

Bake at 300 F for about one hour min. just until the sides pull away from the pan.

Cool, remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered (icing) sugar.

Tip: Use a cardboard template of a cross so that the sugar falls everywhere except the cross.

Ideas for Tapas

Serrano or prosciutto ham wrapped asperagus.

Cut each piece of ham in half lengthwise and wrap around a piece of asperagus. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes or so, or brown in a frying pan for 8-10 minutes, until cooked. If the aspergus spears are thick, you can boil them briefly so they are tender but not floppy.

Dates filled with brie or blue cheese. Fast and easy to make and always a hit.

Sliced cucumbers & tomatoes: a good one for vegetarians. Use the cucumber as the ‘bread’. Put a ½ tsp boursin cheese on top and lay half a cherry tomatoe on top of that.

Brie and walnut: Place some brie on a slice of bagette and top with a half walnut. Make sure that the brie has been out for a few hours and is nice and soft.

Sliced manchego and membrillo (quince paste/jelly). Very simple and tasty. Some people like the cheese on a piece of bread, but the bread is not necessary.

Smoked salmon, onion, capers on a slice of bread which has been spread with cream cheese or boursin.