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Garlic soup from San Gabriel Chilac: Sopa de ajo by Karen Hursh Graber © 2005

San Gabriel Chilac, the southern Puebla town known for hand-embroidered blouses and dresses, is a garlic-growing region providing this indispensable culinary ingredient to much of the area, where this soup is served with the piquant addition of crushed chile de arbol.


  • 1 head garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 arbol chile, seeded and soaked in hot water until soft
  • 2 roma tomatoes, roasted and peeled
  • 1 quart hot chicken stock
  • salt to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ baguette, cut into ¼ " rounds and toasted
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco (or use mild feta cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Crushed dried arbol chile (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic until soft but not browned in the oil. Puree the chile and tomatoes and add to the garlic.

Continue cooking until thick, add the stock and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste.

Break each egg into a dish and slide into the boiling broth. When the eggs are poached, place each in a serving bowl with the soup, baguette rounds, a sprinkling of cheese, parsley and crushed chile if desired. Alternatively, the eggs may be beaten together in a bowl and stirred into the boiling broth as for egg drop soup. Serves 4.

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Published or Updated on: October 1, 2005 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2005
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Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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