This is a festive soup made, mostly in central Spain, around Christmas and New Year from leftovers. It’s a very humble dish that may start off a grander meal. In some regions it may contain dried legumes or carrots but it’s almost always finished with chopped jamòn and egg. Mum still makes it every Christmas, but I think that the flavours of mint and garlic work so well together that it can be made in Australia any time.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over low–medium heat and gently fry the garlic and jamòn for 2 minutes. Allow the garlic to lightly brown then add the chicken stock.
Bring to the boil over high heat. Add the pasta, bring to the boil again then reduce to a simmer and cook until the pasta is soft. (This may take longer than indicated on the packet, as you are not cooking it on a rapid boil.) Season with sea salt flakes, if necessary.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the egg and mint.
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