Spain: Salmorejo

Salmorejo1bIt was scorching hot here in Paris yesterday. While not nearly as hot as during the 2003 heatwave, it was enough to spoil my appetite. That’s when this nugget of Spanish cuisine came in VERY handy!

When it comes to Spanish cuisine, what usually comes to mind is paella, tapas and, especially during the summer, gazpacho. But have you met Salmorejo?

Salmorejo2bSalmorejo is a cousin of the well-known gazpacho. They both originate from Andalucía, in the south of Spain, where they are enjoyed during the hot summer months. They are both made using fresh vegetables (mainly tomatoes and garlic), day-old bread and olive oil.

Salmorejo is typical of the region of Cordoba and is much thicker than gazpacho as it contains more bread.

Classic salmorejo does not have any pepper, but I decided to throw some in for extra flavour … not because I had some leftover chopped green pepper. At all!

Salmorejo4bServes 4

  • 100g / 3.5 oz. slightly stale bread (that’s about 2 slices)
  • 1kg / 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling
  • 2-3 tbsp vinegar, ideally Xeres
  • 100ml water (a little less than ½ cup)
  • To serve: 1 finely chopped hard-boiled egg, 50g / 2-3 slices finely chopped Serrano ham

Soak the bread in a shallow dish of water for 30 seconds on each side.

In a blender, blitz together the soaked bread, tomatoes, green pepper, garlic and olive oil.

Add the cider vinegar, water and a large pinch of salt, then mix again until smooth. If you find your soup too thick, add a little more water.

Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Pour into a bowl and refrigerate the soup for at least 1 hour.

Before serving, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and top with the egg and ham.

Enjoy!

Salmorejo3b

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