Salmorejo – Spanish Cold Tomato Soup


Salmorejo (pronounced saal·mow·reh·how) is a cold tomato-based soup that originates from Spain, specifically from the southern region of Andalusia. It is a popular and refreshing dish, particularly during the hot summer months. Salmorejo shares some similarities with gazpacho, another famous Spanish cold soup, but it has a thicker and creamier consistency.

Here are the key ingredients and characteristics of Salmorejo:

  1. Tomatoes – Ripe and flavorful tomatoes are the primary ingredient in salmorejo. They are typically blended to create a smooth, tomatoey base for the soup.

  2. Bread – Stale bread, often white bread without the crust, is used to thicken the soup and give it a creamy texture. The bread is soaked in water and then blended with the tomatoes.

  3. Olive Oil – High-quality extra virgin olive oil is essential in salmorejo, as it adds richness and flavor to the soup. It’s both incorporated into the soup and drizzled on top as a garnish.

  4. Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves are used to give the soup a pungent and aromatic flavor. The amount of garlic can be adjusted to personal taste.

  5. Vinegar – A splash of vinegar, typically red wine vinegar, is added for acidity, which balances the sweetness of the tomatoes and adds a tangy kick to the soup.

  6. Salt – Salt is used to enhance the overall flavor of the soup, and the amount can be adjusted to taste.

  7. Toppings – Salmorejo is often garnished with various toppings, including hard-boiled eggs (usually chopped or sliced), diced Serrano ham or prosciutto, and sometimes even small pieces of green bell pepper. These toppings add texture and additional layers of flavor to the dish.

To prepare Salmorejo, the tomatoes, bread, garlic, vinegar, and salt are blended together until smooth. Olive oil is gradually added to emulsify the soup and make it creamy. The soup is then chilled in the refrigerator before serving, allowing the flavors to meld and making it a refreshing and satisfying summer dish.

Salmorejo is typically served as a first course or appetizer, and it is enjoyed throughout Spain, especially in Andalusia. It’s a delightful way to savor the bright and fresh flavors of ripe tomatoes, paired with the richness of olive oil and the subtle tang of vinegar.

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