Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hot Weather, Cold Soup

When I say "cold soup", you probably think "gazpacho". However, while in Spain, I preferred it's cousin, Salmorejo, which is smoother, richer and - at least to me - altogether more satisfying. Plus it is cold. And let's face it, the dog days of summer seem to have finally arrived.
Salmorejo (cold tomato soup)
1 lb ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cup stale bread, crusts removed and cubed
Puree the tomato, garlic, vinegar and oil in a food processor or blender. Add bread cubes in 2 batches and continue to process until thick and smooth. Season with salt to taste. Serve chilled with chopped hard-boiled egg and diced Serrano ham as garnishes.

I totally ignored the egg, but added a drizzle of olive oil as a final touch.
Phineas added fresh ground black pepper to his.

Like a lot of Spanish cooking, this recipe depends almost entirely on the quality of the ingredients. Made with really ripe farmers market tomatoes and good fruity olive oil, it will be a winner. And it takes less than 10 minutes start to finish. We had a little cheese (manchego and taleggio) and bread left over from the weekend to round out the dinner. Perfect on such a sticky day.

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