Diane Rossen Worthington

Salmorejo: Classic Spanish Cold Soup Recipe Recipe
Salmorejo: Classic Spanish Cold Soup Recipe

Chill out with a classic Spanish cold soup

I recently returned from Spain. I learned many new things about art, history and of course food. I discovered that there is more to warm weather soups than the Spanish classic uncooked tomato and cucumber soup. My first night in Madrid, I ordered the gazpacho on the menu. It was like no gazpacho I had ever tasted. Creamy and rich, it was thick and somewhere between a dip and a soup. I kept thinking about it as we toured around this vibrant and beautiful country.

I visited the ancient city of Cordoba, once the most populous city in the world and the intellectual center of Europe in the 10th century. Imagine my surprise when I sat down to lunch at the beautiful Palacio del Bailio Hotel and was served the same soup I had enjoyed in Madrid -- except they called it salmorejo. I was told that this is the soup that Cordoba is famous for. It can best be described as a cold tomato soup that has the flavor of gazpacho and the texture of vichyssoise but a bit thicker. It is garnished with hard-cooked chopped egg and shredded Spanish ham.

Cordobans are so proud of their soup that they even have a Brotherhood of Salmorejo. I met the president of their group, who is serious about fostering worldwide interest in this classic recipe. He even gave me a pin to wear to spread the "salmorejo" word. I hope this makes him happy!

My guide, Isabel, explained that Cordoba is one of the hottest European cities in the summer. They make large batches of the soup and keep it refrigerated to enjoy in the heat of the summer months. It also is budget-friendly, which is a huge plus during these tough economic times.

When I returned home, I recreated this soup using very ripe tomatoes, European cucumbers, sherry vinegar, garlic, day-old bread and extra virgin Spanish olive oil. Each time I served it to my guests, they wanted to know how I could call it a non-dairy soup. It is so creamy from blending the ingredients together that it, indeed, tastes as if cream was added.

For best results, use a high-powered blender, which helps emulsify the ingredients into this Cordoban wonder. Make up a double batch to have on hand for a few days when it is just too hot to cook. Serve with big chunks of crusty bread and a salad of your choice.

Salmorejo Recipe

Serves 4 to 6.

6 medium ripe tomatoes, (about 3 pounds), coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup sherry vinegar, preferably Spanish

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups packed day-old bread (French or sourdough), cut in 2-inch bread cubes

2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped

2 ounces Spanish ham, shredded

1. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients except egg and ham. Mix the ingredients around so that the bread has a chance to soak up the liquids. Let rest for about 15 minutes or until the bread is softened.

2. In batches puree the soup. If your blender doesn't totally puree the soup, you can pass it through a food mill for a smoother texture. Transfer to a bowl in batches and, when all has been pureed, taste for seasoning.

3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days ahead of serving. Season to taste just before serving.

4. To serve ladle soup in soup bowls and garnish with the chopped egg and ham. Serve immediately.

Soup, Salmorejo Cold Soup, Spanish Cuisine


Subscribe to Receive our Gourmet Recipes

Salmorejo: Classic Spanish Cold Soup Recipe

World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food share their passion on iHaveNet.com. These chefs make great cooking easier than imagined. Each gourmet recipe features expert advice and an easy-to-make recipe. Exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable

© Tribune Media Services