My second recipe! Again, it’s not my idea to turn Endless Mile into a food blog. But after Luis at Oleum Viride saw my description of how to make sopa hervia, he asked if I could publish a recipe for salmorejo. Another Spanish favorite to use leftovers, I just happen to have a fantastic recipe that I often make at home. Enjoy!
- 1 kg tomatoes, (do a mix if possible: 600g still on vine for flavor + 400g roma variety for color) & at room temp for better emulsion
- 200 g fresh baguette (not dry), torn into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic
- 100 ml olive oil
- 10 g salt
- Items for garnish (see below)
Related to gazpacho but with fewer extra veggies & less bread, salmorejo is known for its creamy, dense texture. There’s no finer way to showcase fresh tomatoes & fine olive oil. Don’t be tempted to add more garlic though… one clove is sufficient (& I am a huge garlic fan). The star of the show should be the tomatoes & olive oil.
Place roughly torn pieces of bread in the bottom of a large bowl with chopped tomatoes on top. Add salt to tomatoes so they release some of their water, draining onto the bread. This step makes emulsification easier, but in a pinch you can skip this step:
Blend all ingredients except the olive oil with either a handheld or upright blender. The mixture should be a pale red color… whiz to your heart’s content, then slowly add olive oil as if making a mayonnaise. The more you add, the mixture turns a beautiful reddish-orange color:
Serve cold but not super chilled… a soup slightly cooler than room temp ensures that the oil’s flavors & aromas come out. Garnish with a little extra olive oil, small cubes of cured ham & chopped pieces of hardboiled egg. Quail eggs are more traditional… if available, hardboil them, peel & slice in half.
Variations on a theme
Of course, everyone’s grandmother has the perfect version of this recipe… anything else amounts to blasphemy 😉 But once you’ve tried a standard version like the one above, then you can move on to find your own favorite. For example, you could try:
- Adding 2 T white vinegar. Purists will naysay, but the acidity helps cut through the denseness of so much olive oil.
- Decrease the amount of bread & add 50 ml extra olive oil (my all-time fave).
- Experiment with different types of olive oil or make your own blend. Oil from arbequina olives is more subtle while the picual variety is more intense.
- Peel tomatoes before chopping.
- Alternative garnishes include chopped apple, orange or shrimp. Again, adding acidity is key.
No doubt this cool, summer soup will become a staple for your table. Share your results & tips here!