With our second King Arthur Flour baguette calling to us, we decided to incorporate it into a cool and creamy soup. While living in Spain, Kara lived on chilled soups in the warm weather months. Whenever Kara heard the blender reeling, she knew her señora, Marta, was making either gazpacho or salmorejo.
While gazpacho and salmorejo both originated from the Andalucian region of Spain and look quite similar, their textures and flavors are noticeably different. Gazpacho mixes an array of vegetables and has a slightly chunky consistency and muted salmon color. The common garnish is chopped cucumber and red pepper on top. Salmorejo simply showcases fresh tomatoes and bread, without the addition of other vegetables. Once the ingredients are blended, the soup is strained, and has a reddish orange hue and silky, thick texture (thanks to the bread). The garnish varies from crumbled hard boiled egg to crispy jamón serrano or, in Marta’s recipe, slivered Marcona almonds.
Salmorejo (adapted from Señora Marta’s recipe)
6-8 medium-sized vine ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic
2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 c EVOO
1/3 of a day old baguette, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
slivered Marcona almonds for garnish
In a blender, puree the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and EVOO into a chunky puree. Transfer the tomato mixture to a bowl and add the cubed bread. Let the mixture soak for 20 minutes. Return the blend back into the blender and puree until smooth. The soup should be thick, but it is too thick, add a little water and EVOO. Season with salt and pepper and strain through a sieve. Ladle the soup into bowls with a sprinkle of Marcona almonds and a drizzle of EVOO. Serves 6.
There’s nothing better than a cup of cool and refreshing salmorejo on a sweltering afternoon.