Around the World – Spain – Salmorejo Cordobés

Ask anyone to name a cold tomato soup from Spain and the reply will be gazpacho. However, Salmorejo is a fantastic thick tomato soup from Cordoba that is eaten cold too.

I don’t know exactly what happened the past couple of weeks, but I made a lot of food that was completely out of sync with the weather outside. Sunny, 28-30C outside and I am making Mac n’ Cheese and hearty risottos. Raining, 16C outside and I am making cold tomato soup…. Oh well.

Gazpacho is a very nice dish, but I think that the Salmorejo Cordobés is more satisfying and as easy to make. All you need: 5 basic ingredients and a blender.

Salmorejo @ San Telmo
Salmorejo Cordobés @ Vinería San Telmo (Paseo de Catalina de Ribera, 4 Sevilla)

As you may derive from the name, this dish hails from Córdoba in central Andalusia and is a staple on the local menus. It seems (sub)regional though: in Sevilla, about 150km to the west, we commonly found it on the menus. However, towards Málaga, about 150km to the south, we rarely saw it and when we ordered salmorejo in Ronda, about 75km west from Malaga, we got served a potato salad… At first we thought it was due to our poor Spanish, but it was also on mentioned on the bill as such, without the cordobés suffix…

salmorejo @ amrita ecija
A fancy salmorejo @Restaurante Amrita (Calle Emilio Castelar Antes Caballeros, 13 Écija), with crumbs of crispy jamón iberico and olive oil ice cream

I based this recipe from a Youtube clip where a granny from Córdoba was filmed preparing – from what I understood – her family recipe in an incredibly tiny kitchen and under 6 minutes! It was clear from the clip that measurements were largely “to taste” so I started experimenting. It indeed depends on the quality of the tomatoes and olive oil and type of vinegar used, but these measurements brought us straight back to Spain.

For about 6 servings:

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  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes (quartered) or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 40ml of white wine vinegar
  • 125ml of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 200gr of stale white bread soaked in 250ml water
1. Put the tomatoes and garlic in a blender and blitz for 1 minute
IMG_2545
2. Squeeze all water out of the soaked bread and add it together with the vinegar to the blender and blitz for another 1 minute. Make sure that there is a mini-vortex in the middle of the blender. If not, take out half the quantity from the blender and do the next step in 2 batches
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3. Keep the blender on and add the appropriate measure of olive oil in a small trickle (in about 45 seconds, the soup will emulsify very quickly). Turn off the blender, taste and season with salt, pepper and more vinegar if needed and blitz briefly to combine.
IMG_2548
4. Transfer to your fridge and cool for at least 2 hours
salmorejo @ home
5. Typically salmorejo cordobés is served with strips of jamón iberico, but it also delicious without. So for a vegetarian version, just serve with a swirl of good quality extra virgin oil and some chopped hardboiled egg. We have seen some served with finely chopped green bell pepper as well.

¡Buen provecho!

One thought on “Around the World – Spain – Salmorejo Cordobés

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