It’s peak tomato season. You can get great tomatoes on the market now - or if you’re lucky like me: you can harvest them in the garden. This is the perfect reason for me to write about my favorite dishes ever. I vividly remember seeing someone make it for the first time. I saw someone throwing very expensive tomatoes in a blender, and I thought “why would you do something like that?”, but I was wrong. Ten minutes later, there were two dishes on the table: an incredible soup called salmarejo. And a delicious dip, made from its residue.
Salmorejo is a Spanish cold tomato soup that can be compared with gazpacho, but it’s way more refreshing and subtle. It’s less complex to make, and I’ve yet to meet someone that didn’t ask me for the recipe after I made it. It looks like this:
Salmorejo is probably the ultimate recipe, and I’m not kidding. I think I tend to love minimalist recipes that are just there to get the most out of an ingredient. And Salmorejo is the best example of that. It’s like eating a raw tomato, but times a hundred.
It’s easy to make, it takes no time, and the ingredient(s) are easy to get. What goes in, comes out: nothing gets wasted in this recipe, and the higher quality tomatoes you put in, the better the soup is going to be. It looks good too:
It’s cheap. Although tomatoes can be expensive, it’s the only ingredient you need to buy. Because it’s served cold, you can make it in advance, bring it to a picnic, eat it for two days. It’s vegan! It’s everything, so let me explain to you how to make it
How to Make Salmorejo
For 4 servings you will need:
4 cloves of garlic - peeled and cut in small bits
about 100g of old breadcrumbs - if you only have fresh bread, toast two slices and put them in the mixer
1kg of the best tomatoes you can find. Getting great ones is the most impactful thing you can do for this dish. Try to get a mix of things and include small tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes because they often have a very strong taste.
High-quality olive oil
Something acidic: Like red wine vinegar, or lemon juice
Wash the tomatoes. With big tomatoes, remove the white parts around the stem.
Blend the tomatoes until they become a soup.
Using a food mill (in dutch: roerzeef) strain all the tomato skins from the soup. Keep the skins, because you can make a dip out of it. If you don’t have a food mill, you can just use a regular strainer.
Put the soup in a pan or bowl and add the garlic, half of the breadcrumbs, and about 60mL of oil. Also, add a tiny drop of lemon juice or vinegar to it.
Blend this again and taste: it should be smooth, but not like a mousse. If it’s to smoothy, add some bread. If it’s too firm add some oil. And blend again.
After you’ve found the right consistency, you add some salt and pepper to bring it to taste. The salt makes the tomatoes come alive.
And that’s it! You’re done.
In the rare scenario that “just salmorejo” is not enough, you can add a boiled egg, some tuna salad, or dried ham to it.
You can eat immediately or keep in refrigerated and eat it in the next two days.
From the skins that are left after straining, you can make a fantastic dip.
Add all the skins to a bowl. Add a drop of red wine vinegar, some salt, some crushed black pepper, and a good amount of good olive oil.
Mix and serve with (salted) crackers.
That’s it for this issue. I haven’t been writing for a while, because I was very busy with other projects, and because I was trying things that were too hard. From now on I will just share recipes that I love every now and then.