I can´t choose my best soup between ajoblanco and salmorejo. What I know is that the Andalusian summer soups are awesome!
ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 2,5 € pp)
- 250 gr stale bread
- 1kg very ripe tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 150 ml EV olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 4 drops balsamic vinegar
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- 2 small slices Iberian ham
- Flowers or leaves of fresh oregano
- Black pepper
For all those who don´t know much about Spanish cuisine, Salmorejo is an Andalusian cold soup, made with the ingredients mentioned above. It is consumed as a starter during the hot summer days in southern Spain, where the sun often forgets to go to bed.
It is more complicated and more hearty than the other well known Spanish tomato soup (gazpacho), especially if it is accompanied with boiled eggs or jamón slices.
First of all we put the tomatoes in the blender till homogenous and then we pass the mix through a Chinois or another strainer, not very fine. We want small pieces of tomato to pass through the strainer, we want our tomato product to be like a sauce, not like a juice. We then salt the tomato mix and check with our tongue. We let the salt work and help the tomato aromas raise.
Meanwhile, we cut the bread in small pieces and then soak it in 500 ml cold water. The majority of cooks propose only crumps but I think that the bread crust, if it is well soaked, gives to the preparation a deeper taste. So, you are the one who chooses.
After an hour we squeeze out the liquid from the bread. We add the bread in the tomatoes and we wait for another half an hour. If we want our mix to be more homogeneous we re-beat it with the mixer. If we want to turn its colour to more orange rather than red, we beat it after having added the olive oil.
Usually, after having mixed the tomato purée with the bread we add the olive oil, the minced garlic cloves and some drops of balsamic vinegar, which help us have an aromatically elevated soup. If we don´t want the garlic to be front, we use one clove, previously boiled for a minute in hot water.
Now it´s time to boil the eggs. In a pot we bring plenty of water to 85 Celsius degrees, then remove from the heat, add two eggs (already in room temperature), cover the pot with a lid and wait for about 15 mins. After that, we transfer the eggs to an iced water bath, in order to help the yolks retain their original colour.
When the eggs are completely cold we peel and cut them in halves lengthwise and we remove the yolks.
Starting from cold pan we gently fry two slices of Iberian ham. When they become relatively crunchy we remove them from the pan and wait to cool. With a large knife we trim the ham and the egg yolk we check the saltiness, and when OK we mix them together and re-fill with the mixture the egg whites.
We put the soup in the plates adding half egg in each plate and we decorate with some olive oil drops, oregano flowers (or leaves, if we don´t have flowers) and plenty of coarse black pepper.