On one of our numerous trips to Spain, we took a cooking class in Seville at Taller Andaluz de Cocina. One of the recipes was making a Salmorejo—sometimes known as ardoria or ardorío—a traditional soup originating from the Andalusia region in southern Spain. It is composed simply of tomato, bread, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic.
The soup is served cold and is garnished with chopped Spanish serrano ham and diced hard-boiled eggs. Unfortunately, the grocery store was not carrying either jamón serrano or Ibérico, but push-come-to-shove, prosciutto is an acceptable substitute. Although reminiscent of gazpacho, Salmorejo is more pink-orange, and is also much thicker and creamier in texture, because it includes more olive oil and bread.
A Spanish-themed dinner was planned for a belated birthday of some good friends. For starters, our drinks, tinto de verano, were paired with a tomato-pesto Manchego cheese appetizer. While The Hubs made a seafood paella on his grill, and Spanish music played softly in the background, our guests, Maria Odili and Steve, took the opportunity to do a bit of dancing.
The Salmorejo was our initial course, and boy was it a hit, we think even better than the version we made in Seville, with everyone enjoying seconds! After the paella, lots of laughter and more wine, those that still had room feasted on Maria’s homemade peach cobbler. Not a shabby way to spend a midweek evening at all…
- 2 lbs. ripe tomatoes
- 4 oz. stale bread, torn in pieces and moistened with water if too dry
- 4 oz. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and green shoot removed
- 2 tsp. table salt
- 2 tsp. sherry vinegar
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped, for garnish
- 2 oz. jamón serrano or Ibérico, diced, for garnish
- Core the tomatoes and cut into quarters while holding them over blender jar. Add the bread, garlic, salt and vinegar. Blend all ingredients until smooth, scraping sides of blender jar as needed.
- With the blender on, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream to create a creamy, salmon-orange emulsion. Taste and even out the flavor by adding more salt and vinegar if needed. Remember that the garlic and vinegar flavors will taste stronger after resting in the refrigerator.
- Before serving, garnish the soup with chopped boiled egg, diced ham, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Recipe from the Taller Andaluz de Cocina in Seville, Spain