Salmorejo

This recipe is one that I have adored ever since I returned from my first trip to Madrid in 2012.

Salmorejo is a chilled Spanish soup made of simple peasant-y ingredients like tomato, olive oil, bread, and vinegar. It – and I – insist that only the finest of each is used, so do try to only ransom the best quality of everything listed.

It is quite simple to prepare, is incredibly delicious, and is a lovely way to enjoy the very last of summer, especially now that it’s possible to find the best of summer tomatoes.

As for its origin … Leave it to the Andalusians to divine a richer, creamier cousin to Gazpacho. With warmer year-round temperatures in Cordoba, Grenada, Sevilla … their godchild-in-a-bowl transcends seasonality, and is sublime served cold every month of the year.

It’s traditionally known as a tomato-and-bread soup and, I always describe it to my guests as a cold soup that is silky, creamy smooth, made with fresh, ripe tomatoes and really good olive oil. It’s irresistible.

It’s all in the spin.

Salmorejo

3 lbs just-ripe, red tomatoes, chopped coarsely

3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed

1/2 fine sherry vinegar (plus additional for seasoning, if desired)

1 cup day-old (white) bread cubes

2 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (recommended: fruity California variety)

1/2 cup Arbequina (Spanish, California, or other favorite) extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

White granulated sugar, to taste

Additional Arbequina oil, for serving drizzles

Combine first four ingredients in large bowl, and in batches, puree in blender at high-speed until mixture is as smooth as possible; transfer each batch to new, clean bowl.

This entire puree ought to fit back into the blender jar, do that now. 

Blend at low speed, while slowly pouring 2.5 cups of olive oil through the opening of blender lid. This will yield an emulsified blend, very rich and creamy.

Carefully strain entire contents through a fine-mesh strainer, into large bowl. 

Discard any solids. 

Transfer strained contents back to blender jar, and blend again on low speed. 

This time, drizzle in last 1/2 cup of (Arbequina) olive oil thru opening of blender lid, and about 1 Tbsp sea salt.

Once the blend is completely emulsified with the final olive oil, pour into large bowl, and season to taste with additional salt and a little sugar.

For a tangy-er flavor, add more vinegar in drops, tasting to adjust for desired result. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. 

Leftover soup is delicious for up to 5 days.

Yields about 6 servings.

Diana Scalia

Diana Scalia

Your Chef and Tour Maestra

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