Friday, September 10, 2010

Fun in the Garden + Salmorejo: Spanish Tomato and Bread Soup

Just the other day, I spent some quality time in the garden with my great friends Michelle and Natasha. Natasha's family lives in beautiful Napa Valley, California. Natasha planted a vegetable garden over the summer, and we came back to give it the love that it deserves.

It felt like we had struck gold, in the form of tomatoes. She planted sweet 100s, a cute little cherry tomato that tastes unbelievably sweet. I could not stop popping them in my mouth, it was like a little burst of sweetness every bite!

Oh my goodness so many tomatoes, it was almost overwhelming!

And, check out the ginormous squashes:

Those squashes were about as long as my torso. And heavy, too!

So it has been 2 days since we picked the tomatoes, and most of them were already starting to go bad today. You really got to pick 'em and eat 'em quick. I sorted through the beauties and separated them from the good ones to make Salmorejo, a Spanish tomato and bread soup from the Andalucian region, specifically Cordoba.

This soup literally took 10 minutes, and involved no cooking! Just throw the tomatoes, some bread (crusts removed), garlic, a piece of bell pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil into a blender then strain it through a fine mesh sieve. The soup is meant to be served chilled. It is a type of gazpacho, a smoother, almost creamier type of gazpacho. The bread helps to achieve that creamy feel and it helps to thicken the soup as well. You can save the crust of the bread to toast and serve as little dippers for the soup.

I ground up some fresh black pepper in and over the top of my soup. Mmm.


adapted from BakingBites

serves 1 (but can be easily multiplied)

1 lb of tomatoes (any kind you like, I was lucky to have some from the garden)
1 4-inch piece of baguette, crusts removed
1/4 piece of bell pepper
1 garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine everything except for the olive oil in the blender. Blend at high speed until smooth. With the blender running, stream in the olive oil. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and refrigerate until chilled.

The soup can be prepared one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

**NOTE: You can save your bread crusts, toast them, and serve with the soup.

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