Winter Survival Soup

Originally called "Castilian Garlic Soup" from the high central plateau of Castile Spain,where this is a welcome winter treat. Garlic is a must for boosting our immune systems.

5 or 6 whole heads of garlic (about 1 cup peeled garlic cloves)

1/4 c. Liquid Gold garlic olive oil (or a robust EVOO)

In a heavy 2 qt saucepan, gently cook the garlic in the olive oil over low heat until the cloves are thoroughly softened, about 10-15mins. Do not let them get brown. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.

Stir in

1 T. dried red chili pepper

Add

6 c. chicken stock (homemade is best but good quality in a box will do)

1/3 c. sherry

Bring to a simmer and stir in

a pinch of cumin

a pinch of saffron threads

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Use a fork to crush the tender garlic cloves to a paste and stir the paste into the soup. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Cover the soup and leave to simmer very gently for about 15 minutes.

While the soup cooks, toast slices of bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic.

To make this a more substantial meal, poach 1 egg per serving, in Jalapeno white balsamic vinegar and water(about 2T vinegar).

Serve the soup as is hot from the pot, floating a slice of garlicky toast on each serving. If you wish, tear toast  add a poached egg and a sprinkle of grated manchego cheese.