Salmorejo is well known as a summer soup, the Andalusian version of gazpacho. We just recently returned from the Iberian peninsula and whenever salmorejo was offered, it was in front of me. This has everything—color, creamy texture, and flavor, flavor, flavor. It is absolutely best made with meaty tomatoes, at their peak, fresh from the garden. But, those aren’t available in November or December…so what to do? Campari® tomatoes are the answer, so this soup is truly year-round nectar. It is to die for…but die after you’ve eaten, please. You will hear angels, I swear! The other lovely thing, is it’s easy. Everything goes into the blender, except the bread. I think it works best if you make certain the tomato skins are puréed to oblivion and the mixture is completely smooth. Then, add the bread and whirl away. After the entire mixture is smooth, with the motor running, add the oil slowly, until it is slightly thickened. It is imperative that you use a fruity, highly flavored olive oil…the very best you can find. Then, it chills. For at least two hours, but I think overnight is best. In summer, chill the bowls, but I think that’s less important in cooler months. And, of course, excellent bread, on the side.
- 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks (see NOTE)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 6 cloves roasted garlic
- 2-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar or taste
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups rustic white bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces
- 2/3 cup excellently flavored olive oil
- 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
- 3-4 slices Spanish jamon Iberico or Serrano, finely chopped
Place the tomatoes, garlic, roasted garlic, sherry vinegar, honey, paprika and salt and pepper in your blender. Cover and whirl on high for a few minutes. You want the peels to completely disappear and the mixture to be smooth. Add the bread and blend on low until it’s incorporated, then switch to high. Blend for 2-3 minutes.
Carefully remove the top, and with the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil; blend until emulsified. Chill the soup for at least two hours.
When ready to server, pour the soup in bowls, top with chopped egg, ham and a side of bread.
NOTE: In summer Roma or other meaty tomatoes are wonderful. But, if like me, you can’t wait until summer, then Compari® tomatoes work reasonably well. You may need to add more/less honey and/or sherry vinegar. If Serrano or Iberico Ham are unavailable, you may substitute Prosciutto. Choose your olive oil for flavor; it should be fruity and not at all bitter…it’s all about the flavor.
Salmorejo Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.