Andalusian Gazpacho

I made several trips to Spain the year I was an au pair in Germany. I had a good friend from college au pairing in Madrid and a couple of other friends teaching English in southern Spain, oh and there was a hen weekend to Barcelona in there too! One of the trips I did started in Malaga, and wound up through Andalusia stopping in Granada, and smaller towns like Cabra and Antequera, making my way up to Madrid.

Among the many memorable things from the trip is a meal that my friend (who I was visiting) and I had in Antequera, a meal prepared for us by and in the home of the director of the school my friend worked for, a meal I’ll never forget. She so easily whipped up a shockingly simple and delicious lunch including an amazing gazpacho simply of tomato and bread, and she delivered some of the best fried artichokes I’ve had. I have remembered it all this time and it’s funny to go back to my blog from that year and see how the soup they made is exactly what I saw in this month’s Spain issue of Food & Wine magazine.

From Adventures in Deutschland: “they made us this amazing Andalusian soup thing for lunch. It is raw tomatoes blended with some garlic, pepper, olive oil, vinegar and bread. It is eaten kind of like soup, and you dip a lot of bread in it as well…”

From Food & Wine: “Salmorejo is a classic soup made primarily with tomatoes and bread. It’s best with a splash of sherry vinegar, but Andalusian tomatoes pack a good hit of acidity, so they often omit it in Spain.”

Yum Yum.

Obviously after all the Spanish inspiration in the September issue, I now want to have a Spanish dinner party, but for now I’ve started with this soup as a way of using my pounds of tomatoes that just keep coming. It’s refreshing and spicy with the raw garlic, and so so smooth, this ‘soup’ is hard not to love. I topped it with a corn & poblano salad/salsa and a poached egg, which was delicious. I loved the contrast that the texture of the raw veggies provided against the creaminess of the soup. I made it in the morning and let chill to have the whole thing for lunch. It took me right back to Spain and got me so excited about traveling, trying new foods and the endless tomato possibilities that await.

 

Salmorejo (Andalusian Gazpacho), serves two (originally from Food & Wine)

Ingredients for Soup

  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes from my garden, but any will do. If they are bigger core and chop them.
  • 3-4 oz white bread, crusts removed – a soft plush Italian loaf works great
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

Ingredients for Topping

  • handful ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 poblano peppers (roasted over fire and skins removed)
  • 1 ear corn, kernels removed
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Combine tomatoes, bread, garlic, vinegar and a scant 1/4 cup of water in a blender on high until very smooth. Drizzle in olive oil until incorporated, season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 min.
  2. While soup is chilling, finely dice the poblanos so the size of the cuts rivals with a kernel of corn. Mix together tomatoes, poblano, corn and red onion.  Add vinegar and oil to taste, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until time to serve.
  3. When ready to serve, divide the soup into two bowls, poach each egg in simmering water for four minutes, add to top of soup and add the corn and poblano topping.
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