This cold soup is summer on a plate. Salmorejo is made with fresh and ripe tomatoes, stale bread or breadcrumbs, garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt and extra virgin olive oil. Traditionally, this smooth and creamy soup is garnished with hard-boiled egg and Ibérico or Serrano ham (aka jamón Ibérico or Serrano), but you can garnish it with vegan alternatives of your choice. We enjoy beautifying the soup with edible flowers from our balcony, olive oil caviar, smoked salt flakes, basil infused oil, sliced avocados, seeds… pretty much anything.
This practical and easy recipe only takes a few minutes to prepare. Make it ahead of time as salmorejo must be served cold. It keeps well on the fridge for up to 4 days, but it rarely stays all this time on my fridge.
Once you have separated and prepped the ingredients, all you need is a blender or a food processor and a bit of patience until the soup gets cold. If using a hand mixer cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
Many people eat this soup as a starter, but it is hearty enough (especially when topped with hard-boiled egg and diced Ibérico or Serrano ham) to have it as a main course. I often have a side dish of mixed leaf salad or a few Belgian endive leaves to scoop the soup. This healthy, refreshing, and delicious recipe is a must-try and one of the best ways to cool off in a hot summer day!
- 8 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered (San Marzano, plum or vine tomatoes)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs (I use whole wheat breadcrumbs)
- 2 tsp of sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Hard-boiled eggs (or quail eggs) and jamón (Spanish cured ham) to garnish (optional)
- In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes, garlic, breadcrumbs, sherry vinegar, sugar and salt. Purée the ingredients at high speed.
- Reduce the speed of the blender and gradually add the extra virgin olive oil. Continue blending until a silky smooth texture is obtained.
- Transfer the soup to a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- Before serving, whisk the soup and taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed.
- Ladle the cold soup into small bowls and garnish with small pieces of hard-boiled egg and ham or omit these ingredients for a vegetarian/vegan version.
Some salmorejo recipes call for peeled and seeded tomatoes. I particularly prefer to keep both the seeds and the peel as they provide antioxidants and also fibre. Research on the effects of peeling and seeding tomatoes showed that peeling can reduce ascorbic acid, lycopene and phenolic contents, while both peeling and seeding can lower the antioxidant activity from the fruit1. In addition, it also helps to avoid food waste. Once they are pureed and the soup is smooth, they do not interfere with the taste, presentation or texture of the soup.
The ingredients for this recipe are quite simple, thus the quality of the ingredients drastically influence the final results. Choose the ripest and freshest possible tomatoes and a good quality EVOO and vinegar. I personally prefer using sherry vinegar as this is commonly used in Spain to prepare this recipe, but you can use another type of vinegar too.
1. Vinha, A.F., Alves, R.C., Barreira, S.V.P., et al.: Effect of peel and seed removal on the nutritional value and antioxidant activity of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) fruits. LWT—Food Sci. Technol. 55(1), 197–202 (2014)