Salmorejo

I happen to follow SAVEUR on twitter & earlier this month, as a celebration of their 150th issue, they presented 150 classic recipes. While browsing these recipes (I’m sure you can imagine & relate, that this is a favourite pastime), I was especially intrigued by their recipe for salmorejo, which is an Andalusian Spanish chilled tomato soup akin to gazpacho. Despite it being at the cusp of autumn here in La Jolla/ San Diego, my fiancé & I were still adjusting to the sunshine & heat (come on, we just moved down here from Seattle! (;). We live on an upper floor & our apartment faces the sun during the heat of the day..needless to say, we felt stifled. So the idea of eating chilled soup was appealing, not to mention the sheer simplicity of the ingredients called to me, as these were ingredients that we often had in our kitchen.

When my fiancé tried it, he declared it his new favourite dish of mine. He was incredulous that it did not contain dairy (we’re both a bit dairy-sensitive), that it yielded a creamy & velvety soup, thanks to the bread. It’s a very portable, not-as-temperature-sensitive soup to send to work with my fiancé via a thermos & tasty even if it’s barely cooler than room temperature. We’ve noticed that the soup does the next day as well, the flavours just macerate & strengthen due to the emulsification. Delicioso.

My adaptation uses less olive oil & has a substitution of sourdough bread-ends & slices instead of using baguette. Use whichever you prefer. We happen to adore the tanginess of sourdough. In my home, we try to limit our red meat consumption so my version is served without any; though I’m certain jamón serrano or prosciutto would further elevate this into a lovely dish worthy of an elegant summertime dinner party.

SALMOREJO *

Adapted from SAVEUR
4 servings

4 plum or roma tomatoes (cored, halved & seeded)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
5 oz. of sourdough bread-ends/slices or a baguette, if you have that on hand instead (cut into large pieces)
½ small yellow onion
14 cup extra-virgin olive oil & more for drizzling
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste (I recommend at least a teaspoon)
Pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika) or just paprika, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
4 soft-boiled eggs, (halved or chopped, I use 1 egg per serving bowl)

* This recipe requires a blender or an immersion blender!

Place tomatoes, garlic, onion & bread slices in a non-metallic bowl, cover with boiling water & allow to rest uncovered for an hour. Remove vegetables & squeeze the water out of the bread slices; place them in blender. Reserve 1 cup of the soaking liquid (preferably the cloudiest portion of the soaking liquid) & add to the blender along with the oil & sherry vinegar. Purée until smooth; season with salt, pepper & spices to taste. Chill. When ready to serve; top with soft-boiled eggs, chopped cilantro if you’d like, drizzle oil, crushed black pepper & a sprinkle of crusty sea salt. Enjoy!

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