Easy Salmorejo - Chilled Spanish Soup
Salmorejo (pronounced sa-more-recko) is a simple chilled Spanish soup made with tomatoes, bread, olive oil and vinegar. It's thicker and creamier than gazpacho and in Spain, salmorejo is usually garnished with jamon, boiled eggs or tinned tuna. It's delicious and perfect for hot weather.
I enjoyed salmorejo for the first time last month in Salamanca while visiting our buddies Alberto and Patricia. Salamanca is a beautiful place with stunning architecture, rich history and great Spanish food. If you ever visit, be sure to have a meal at Tapas 2.0 and order the salmorejo.
The good news is, you don't have to travel to Spain to enjoy a bowl as I have devised a very easy salmorejo recipe you can make at home. It's a great way to use up stale bread and the only equipment you will need is a blender (or hand blender) and a fridge.
I got to know Salamanca-dwelling Alberto and his lovely girlfriend Patricia at the Gourmet Garden Blogger Conference in Australia this year. He's the Spanish Gourmet Garden Blogger Ambassador and for the Blog Off Cook Off he made his own special version of salmorejo with mango and basil. He's pretty much an expert when it comes to making salmorejo so (thanks to google translate) I based my recipe on this salmorejo recipe from his blog.
The secret to great salmorejo is fresh, ripe, flavoursome tomatoes - easy to get hold of in Spain, but not here. I found that good quality tinned tomatoes (not cheap ones, the really good ones) combined with a teaspoon of tomato puree give a much better flavour than mediocre fresh ones. If you use fresh tomatoes they need to be ripe, sweet and juicy and you will need to peel them first. Make sure you use white bread too. I tried brown and it was awful.
Make sure your salmorejo is really cold and then top with your choice of garnish before serving. Chopped jamon and/or boiled egg is quite typical in Spain. I went for Alberto's choice of chopped boiled egg and black olives which is lovely. I like tinned tuna flakes as well. Enjoy while the weather is hot.
Easy Salmorejo: Serves 4:
Time: 5 mins hands on time + chilling time
Cost: 46p per serving*
Calories: 257 per serving*
*salmorejo only without garnish
For the Salmorejo:
- 2 x 400g tins good quality chopped tinned tomatoes (or 800g fresh, see above)
- 160g / 4 slices stale white bread, torn up
- 4 tablespoons / 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 level teaspoons Gourmet Garden Garlic / 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 level teaspoons tomato puree
- 1 level teaspoon caster sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons / 15-30ml red wine vinegar (to taste)
- Salt and pepper to season
Some ideas for garnish (optional):
- Small tin of tuna, flaked
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 60g jamon, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons black olives, chopped
- Red, yellow or green pepper, diced
- Cubes of bread, drizzled with oil and baked in the oven
- Put all the ingredients for the salmorejo (apart from the vinegar and the salt and pepper) in a large bowl. Give everything a really good stir, cover and leave for about 10 minutes so the bread has a chance to soak up all the moisture.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender, or use a hand blender to blend the mixture until smooth and creamy. Add one tablespoon of the vinegar and blend again. Have a taste and add some more vinegar (if you think it needs it) and season with salt and pepper. Blend again and taste again adjusting seasoning if you think it's necessary. Cover the salmorejo with clingfilm and pop in the fridge for about 3 hours or until it's really cold.
- When it's time to serve, ladle the cold salmorejo into bowls and top with the garnish or garnishes of your choice.
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