Salmorejo

Salmorejo

Cordoba mosque
Famous Cordoba mosque (ca. 775 AD)

Andalucia and morning sickness

The first summer I spent in Andalucia was also the summer I was pregnant with my first child. Even though Andalucia's a great place to eat, with all kinds of new foods I was eager to check out, practically everything I ate made me feel ill. I wound up sadly eating most of my meals at McDonalds - the only thing I could keep down. But on later trips, I was able to enjoy Andalucian food. Salmorejo, a soup like gazpacho but with a creamier texture, was one of the best discoveries. This is an ancient soup, going back all the way to Roman times, except for the tomatoes.

How to make salmorejo:

Take half a loaf of stale bread and break it into chunks. Toast the bread on a baking sheet in the oven, and process it into crumbs in the food processor. Add 4 ripe tomatoes, two cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup of vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Work in batches if necessary. Puree until the mixture is smooth; use the immersion blender or a standard blender if necessary to get the soup really smooth. Salmorejo is different from gazpacho in being a smooth puree. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve with small cubes of Spanish ham and crumbled hard-boiled egg scattered on top of the soup.

Vegetarian or vegan?

Salmorejo's vegan, if you leave off the egg and ham garnish. Add crushed toasted almonds instead.

And will salmorejo keep?

As with gazpacho, you can eat salmorejo for a week afterwards, if you keep it in the refrigerator. But the garlic flavor will get stronger over time, and you may need to add more water.