It’s August and it’s hot in Los Angeles. Is it hot where you are too? Well, when it’s hot outside it’s time to consider a few changes to your culinary habits. In other words: cold soup. Gazpacho is cold soup but it’s not the only ripe tomato chilled Spanish soup in my blender this summer. Andalusian Tomato and Bread Soup, known in Spain as Salmorejo, is another cold soup you just might like to give a whirl.
It may remind you of gazpacho. It calls for tomatoes, day-old bread, garlic, olive oil, and a splash of sherry vinegar. However, where gazpacho is like a blended salad, Salmorejo is overall heartier and more like a pureed meal. A simple meal that’s made for hot summer days.
As in any dish of such simplicity, much depends on the quality of the ingredients. Salmorejo should only be made with perfectly red and ripe summer tomatoes. The bread should be a simple, rustic white loaf that’s at least a day past perfect. The garlic must be good and sticky. Because one or two cloves is all it takes. The olive oil should be good, green, and delicious.
Salmorejo makes a great starter for an al fresco evening of dining most anytime. But when the heat is high Salmorejo really shines as a casual meal all on its own. Because summer soups have a whole psychology about them that must be considered when choosing how to prepare one. One of these considerations is the balance of flavor. So taste before you chill this soup then again once its cold. I find cold food often needs to be amplified. I don’t know why, but salt and acid seem to recede once chilled. So trust me – check the salt and vinegar seasoning just before serving. You want it just right. Because when it’s hot outside a bit of acid on the tongue tricks the brain into thinking it’s cooler than it really is. GREG