Cold soups are a Spanish tradition. You might be familiar with Gazpacho, which is a loud, shouty sort of soup, bristling with spicy peppers, a hint of chilli and a good tang of wine vinegar. Salmorejo is Gazpacho’s more reserved little cousin, a strong family resemblance but much quieter. It’s a very simple recipe made from ingredients you might well have in your Spanish village kitchen, combining tomatoes, day old bread, olive oil and a boiled egg. It would also be a great home school day lunch, providing vegetables, calories and protein in one little bowl.
I did try making this using either a tin of tomatoes or my own home-made tomato sauce, which I keep in the freezer against all eventualities. On a blind testing, I have to report that it is really much better made with fresh tomatoes, so get the best you can find – the long plum ones are very nice. Your friendly green grocer might be able to give you some that are on the edge of being too ripe for salads but don’t go for anything too squashy.
It is often served in a small bowl (because it is rather rich and filling) with a plate of chopped toppings – again making it a great dish to offer to kids who love to choose their own selection. You can provide chopped cured meat – jamon Iberico, smoked tuna cubes, vegetables or diced egg. Spoon a few pieces of something extra on your soup and what more do you need for lunch?
Serves 4, small portions Timings: 20 minutes to make, then about 2 hours in the fridge
Toppings: jamon cubes, fresh tuna cubes (could be raw, smoked or lightly cooked), diced hard boiled egg, diced tomatoes or peppers – whatever you’ve got and whatever you fancy.
Peel the tomatoes by pouring boiling water over them, leaving for 1 minute, then taking out and running them under cold water. The skin should come off easily. Throw the flesh and seeds together into your blender and blend until smooth. Into the bowl of the blender throw the stale bread and leave it to soften for 5 minutes. Now add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and hard-boiled egg into the blender too. Blend until finely mixed. You could push the mixture through a sieve after the blend but I don’t think you need to.
Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to meld and chill down.
Serve in small portions, and with a selection of toppings for people to choose for themselves.
Photo credit: I normally take my own photos but this time, my friend Anthony Smith has obliged with this great photo of Salmorejo in decorative coffee cups. Thanks Anthony!
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.