Saturday, August 23, 2003

Salmorejo Cordobes:Recipe

If I said "cold Spanish soup" would you think of the liquid salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and onions--Gazpacho? Two years ago when Lee and I were in Andalucia we encountered two other fantastic cold Spanish soups that are easy to make and wonderfully refreshing when the weather gets hot. Technically you could call them both Gazpacho--one is a "White Gazpacho" and the other a Cordoban Gazpacho.

The first soup is perfect for those days that are so hot you barely even feel hungry. It's sometimes called "White Gazpacho" but the real name is Ajo Blanco. It's a cool pureed almond soup with garlic and grapes in it. Very unusual sounding but quite delicious just the same. You must have white grapes to make it.

The other soup, Salmorejo is a tomato soup sometimes called Salmorejo Cordobes. It's made from tomatoes, green pepper, bread, oil, vinegar, and garlic and traditionally served in an earthenware bowl, topped with a garnish of hard boiled eggs and jamon serrano. Completely dependent on the quality of the ingredients, the tomatoes must be super ripe and sweet or the soup will lack character. The soup is a pale orange color, rich and creamy and at the same time refreshing. You can substitute prosciutto if you can't find imported jamon or leave it out altogether. Perfect with a glass of sherry.
Here is my recipe for it:

Salmorejo Cordobes

Ingredients

5 ripe tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 cup Baguette, day old and softened in warm water
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar
Salt

Garnish:
Extra virgin olive oil
Jamon Serrano
Hard boiled egg

Instructions

Trim the top of the tomatoes, the garlic and core the green pepper. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Garlic and vinegar can be increased or decreased to taste. Add more bread if thicker texture desired.

Season to taste with salt.

Refrigerate a few hours until thoroughly chilled.

Serve chilled and garnish with julienne Jamon Serrano, chopped hard-boiled eggs and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!