ingredients
  • ripe tomatoes 1 kg , diced
  • Red pepper 200 g – diced
  • Breadcrumbs 100 g
  • Cloves Garlic 2
  • sherry vinegar 1 tbsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil 300 ml
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 egg, hard boiled (optional)
  • 50 g Iberico ham, diced (optional)

This is a traditional chilled soup from Cordoba, in southern Spain. People have been soaking bread in water to prepare a base for cold soups since Mesopotamian times. Then the Romans came along and added olive oil and vinegar to the recipe, and the Al Andalus Moors no doubt added their own twists to it.

This tomato and red pepper cold soup can be served alone, or garnished with boiled egg and Iberico ham. It takes a while to make, but the results are well worth it.

Instructions

Soak the breadcrumbs in water, ideally for a couple of hours or even better overnight. Put enough water in for them to soak it up and swell. If you're in a rush, you still can make a salmorejo with bread crumbs soaked in water for five or ten minutes, but for best results soak them overnight.

Dice the pepper and the tomatoes, then blend them well into a liquid using a stick blender or food processor.

Drain the bread crumbs thoroughly and blend together with the pepper, the tomatoes and the garlic.

Add the vinegar, the salt and half the of the olive oil. Blend thoroughly and sieve to get a smooth creamy texture. Don’t skimp on the sieving – it’s important to get a silky, smooth texture.

Return the mix to the blender bowl and blend again whilst you keep adding the rest of the olive oil little by little.

This is what the finished, blended salmojero should look like.

Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Chill for two hours in the fridge, but take it out at least 15 minutes before serving, as the fridge temperature will alter the taste of the tomatoes.

While it’s chilling, hard boil an egg. When you’re ready to serve, put the soup in bowls, sprinkle on the egg, and top with pieces of ham.

Tips

If you don’t like red peppers, just use tomatoes instead.