As I passed my local (and ridiculously awesome) greengrocer the other day, a bunch of juicy tomatoes started winking at me. We understood each other instantly and so I made this soup for the Spain v Holland World Cup match. It didn’t seem to help Spain very much but we had a jolly good time anyway.
Salmorejo is a chilled tomato soup from Andalucia in Southern Spain. It has a thicker, more velvety texture (it can be used as a dip) than its better-known cousin gazpacho and uses fewer ingredients. And although it tastes super creamy, it is completely dairy-free – the olive oil and tomato juice emulsify to give a wonderfully slick texture. We were in Seville a couple of years ago and a small chilled bowl of this was enough to revive me from wilting-point time and time again.
This soup is punchy and refreshing and the crispy jamón serrano garnish adds texture and depth. As the tomatoes are raw, it’s also jam-packed full of nutrients – win! The perfect starter or light lunch on a hot day.
***USE RIPE TOMATOES AND YOUR BEST OLIVE OIL PLEASE!***
Salmorejo (chilled tomato soup) with crispy jamón serrano
Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main
– 110g baguette innards (not the crust)
– 500g ripe tomatoes, diced
– 1 clove garlic, sliced
– 70ml good quality olive oil, plus extra for frying and decoration
– 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
– 4 slices jamón serrano, to decorate (omit for vegetarians!)
Soak the bread in 150ml of cold water for a few minutes.
Put the tomatoes and garlic in a blender and pulse until smooth. Sieve and return to the blender.
Add the bread, oil, vinegar and a generous pinch of salt and pulse again until smooth. Tip: If the mixture is too stiff, add a splash of water and blend again. Pop in the fridge to chill for a good hour or two.
In a large frying pan over a medium heat, heat a splash of oil and fry the ham slices, about a minute on each side, until they crisp up. Press between sheets of kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil and allow to cool.
Serve the salmorejo topped with crumbled ham, a drizzle of oil and a grind or two of black pepper. Provide crusty bread for mopping purposes.
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.