15 August 2012

From the Chef ~ Chilled Tomato Soup from Andalucia, Spain

(Originally published 9/23/11)
If you are like me this year, you have lots of late tomatoes, which is a very good thing!  Here is Salmorejo, one of my favorite tomato dishes from Casa Fiore #9 (Sept. 2004).  My daughter and I had a few moments this morning to put this together - check out our step-by-step phote recipe below.  This is really easy and so, so good.  I cannot wait for dinner tonight!
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I took a Spanish language course one summer in Seville, the capital of Southern Spain.  While there, I was blown away by the Andalucian cuisine:  authentic churros y chocolate, endless varieties of tapas and local sherry wines, and this version of gazpacho.  Returning home, the rich and refreshing taste of salmorejo still on my lips, I plunged into my overflowing tomato patch and set to work on this dandy of a dish.

1. Soak a 4-INCH PIECE OF BAGUETTE (CRUST DISCARDED) in 1/2 CUP OF WATER for 1 minute.  Squeeze bread dry and discard water.
2. Mash 2 CLOVES GARLIC with mortar and pestle or garlic press or mince with a chopping knife.  Blend garlic paste, bread, and 12 BLANCHED ALMONDS and 1 TSP. SALT in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped.  Add 1 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL in a slow stream with motor running, blending until thick and smooth.  Add 2 LBS. RIPE, CORED, AND QUARTERED TOMATOES and 2 TBSP. SHERRY VINEGAR and blend for 1-2 minutes.  When tomatoes are fresh and in season, I use a wide assortment of tomatoes from the garden!
3. Force soup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing firmly on solids.  Discard solids.
4. Transfer to a glass container, cover, and chill until cold (2+ hours). Season with extra salt and vinegar to taste and then serve in small bowls topped with FINELY CHOPPED HARD-BOILED EGGS (2 TOTAL) and JULIENNED STRIPS OF SERRANO HAM or PROSCIUTTO (1/4 LBS. TOTAL).  Enjoy!

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