Salmorejo is a cream usually served as a first course, a traditional preparation of Córdoba (Andalucía, Spain) where my father-in-law, Don Juan Reina, is from.
The history of Salmorejo, as a culinary preparation, goes back to the first instants of humanity in which the ingredients were crushed in a pair of stones. This primitive form of cooking by mechanically crushing was very popular, and was applied to a large number of foods. In the beginning, these Salmorejos certainly did not have tomatoes in its ingredients, and that turned them into what is now called white salmorejo.
The culinary history of Salmorejo has two important historical milestones: the incorporation of tomatoes, which give its red color, and the advent of electricity in culinary processes, with the incorporation of household appliances such as the electric blender. Both occurred in a period of less than a century.
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon thick kosher salt
2 cups (packaged) of baguette roughly broken with crust (approximately 4 ounces)
10 plum tomatoes, cut in half, without seeds, cut into thick pieces (about 6 cups)
1/3 cup chopped onion into thick pieces
1/4 cup of Sherry wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 1/2 cups of slightly flavored extra virgin olive oil
3 boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped Serrano ham * (approximately 1 1/2 ounces)
Spanish olive oil (to drizzle)
- Mix 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of coarse salt in a medium bowl to dissolve. Add bread, soak for 30 minutes. Squeeze the excess liquid from the bread. Soak liquid reserve.
- Puree half of each of the chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, sherry wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice and garlic in the blender, until very smooth. With the machine running, gradually add half the bread, and add the reserved soaking liquid per tablespoon, if the mixture is too thick to mix. Puree until very soft. With the machine running, gradually add half extra virgin olive oil (the mixture will turn slightly orange). Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, sherry wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, garlic, bread and oil. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Season to taste with salt.
- Divide the soup between small bowls. Sprinkle chopped egg and ham. Sprinkle with Spanish olive oil and serve.
* A cured and uncooked Spanish ham (also called Serrano ham). It´s sold in specialized food stores, and Spanish and Latin markets.