Salmorejo is one of the varied cold soups that are common in many regions of Spain, especially in the South, where they originated. This particular soup originates in the Córdoba province, Andalusia. Maybe it’s not as popular as gazpacho outside of Córdoba, but I’ve decided to include it here because it’s my favourite among these cold soups. For me it’s unmistakably related to summer… salmorejo in a warm night, in my veranda…
What makes salmorejo different from gazpacho? There are a couple of differences:
- The only vegetable in salmorejo is tomato (along with garlic), while gazpacho always includes at least green pepper and also cucumber and onion.
- Salmorejo is usually thicker than gazpacho. In some places it’s so thick that it’s used more as a dip. I know people who use potato chips to eat it.
Let’s get to making delicious salmorejo. You won’t regret it:
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes (the riper the best, much better if they’re organic)
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic (add 1 if you’re not a garlic lover and 2 if you fear some vampires to be hanging around…)
- 100 g white bread crumb
- 25 g vinegar (I use apple vinegar, be careful when adding, better start with 20 g)
- 130 g virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp good sea salt
Use a food processor or sturdy blender for this. Start the processor or blender on medium speed and add the garlic, so that it gets finely minced.
Add the tomatoes. If your machine is powerful enough, you won’t need to previously scald, peel and deseed the tomatoes. The texture of a real salmorejo is silky smooth, without a hint of peel or seeds. You can choose to be a purist or not… I’m not a purist, that’s why tiny bits of seeds and bread can be seen in my salmorejo.
Also you’re supposed to use the bread crumb only, not the crust, but I use everything. Fine, then process the tomatoes to a very smooth puree. Add the salt, the bread and the vinegar and process until pureed. Then start pouring the oil with the machine on, for the oil to emulsify with the rest of the mixture.
And you’re done! Put in the fridge to chill thoroughly. I find that the flavour is best if you let the salmorejo stand overnight in the fridge. All the ingredients’ flavours meld somehow and the result is wonderful. The typical garnish for serving salmorejo is hard-boiled eggs and Spanish ham, both chopped in small pieces, added to each bowl at the time of serving.
I know Spanish gourmets would sneer at me, but if you have your salmorejo with a tall glass of tinto de verano… then you’ll be getting closer to heaven.