Spanish Gazpacho

I’m b-a-a-a-c-k!!!!!

And Texas did not disappoint – it was HOT! Well, at least to this native Southern Californian. Having never lived more than a mile from the beach I am just not used to temps over 90 degrees. Now,   occasionally the mercury rebels and goes outside of it’s normal 60 – 80 degree range here  – and like any self respecting Southern Californian, I do my fair share of complaining… and then of course figure out how to deal with it sans air conditioning.

Growing up, whenever the mercury headed into the 90 degree range, my mother’s solution was to make gazpacho – it not only cooled everyone down but it also made great use of the excess tomato harvest. Over the years my mother made several different kinds – a chunky style laden with cucumbers, onions, cilantro, garlic and lime and a smooth version that she flavored with sherry and almonds. I always loved both and over the years have played with and tweaked both of her recipes.

When the August issue of Bon Appetit magazine came out and I saw the recipe for Salmorejo I was intrigued since I had never heard that name before in all the years I’ve eaten and made this soup.  Going back to my mother’s recipe, it was simply called “Smooth Gazpacho” and to this day I have no idea where it came from. Her  version did not call for toasted bread to thicken the soup and so, inspired by the recipe in Bon Appetit I tried adding it to my version and loved the result – and I hope you do too!

Spanish Gazpacho hbc Spanish Gazpacho

This soup is great to pair with a big salad and some crusty bread for lunch or dinner and works really well as a starter. It also works great as an hors d’oeuvre – just pour it into shot glasses!!!

 

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Spanish Style Gazpacho - You can of course skip grating the tomatoes and just puree the whole tomato. I prefer the texture of the soup without the skin. Grating the tomatoes allows you to remove the skin without having to put the tomatoes into boiling water to peel them and preserves their fresh flavor. You can of course, blanch the tomatoes and peel them if you wish!

(serves 4 as an appetizer)

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, halved, seeded and grated
  • 1/2 cup roasted pequillo peppers ( I used Melissa’s)
  • 4 slices toasted, sliced white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
  • 1  to 1 1/2 Tbsp. sherry wine vinegar (  to taste)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or 1/2 spanish olive oil and half canola)
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Garnish (optional)

  • 4 oz. manchego cheese
  • 2 – 3 oz. Serrano ham
  • 4 bamboo skewers

Directions:

  1. Seed the tomatoes and, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the tomatoes over a large bowl, making sure to catch all the juices.
  2. Transfer the tomatoes to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the pequillo peppers, bread, garlic, almonds and 1 Tbsp. of sherry vinegar. Season with salt and white pepper. Blend the soup for about 3 minutes until finely pureed. With food processor/blender running, drizzle in the oil.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Refrigerate until cold and serve.
  5. For garnish, cut manchego cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice serrano ham into 1/2 inch wide strips and fold strips into 1/2 inch wide squares. Skewer a cube of cheese, a piece of serrano ham and another cube of manchego cheese. These can be made several hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    nancy, you have such a beautiful eye for food and photography- really enjoy looking at your work, pretty pretty. glad to hear you are having a lovely summer.
    louise

  2. says

    Hope you had a great time in Texas! Sorry about our horrible heat. I’m counting the days until October when it might cool down a little. Your gazpacho looks like a perfect soup for hot days. The piquillo peppers and bread for thickening sound great!

  3. says

    I love spanish gazpacho and your photos make me yearn for Spain. I love the little foodie accessories at the top of your glass. I need to come to your house to get a little bite of Spain…beautiful photos, Nancy!

    • says

      Thanks Susan!! Spain is definitely on my bucket list – may have to wait until we are through the college years though … I thought kids were expensive before this but wow, college is pricey!

    • says

      Thanks Kristen!! Yeah, it’s gonna be an adjustment for him since our weather generally stays between 60-80 degrees. College is definitely a learning experience in more ways than one!

    • says

      Thanks!! The bread makes a difference – gives the soup a bit more texture and heft – and a great way to use up a little extra bread!

  4. says

    What a perfect summer dish! And I love the name Salmorejo (I studied Italian in college and I appreciate the melody of the words, Spanish included). I am drowning myself in heirloom tomatoes here in Serbia, and I just wonder if my parents would embrace this gazpacho:)
    Great photo!

    • says

      Hi Lana!

      Hope you are having fun with your family! I agree with you – the word Salmorejo is beautiful – and I can even say it!!! I bet your parents would like it – if they like tomato soup they definitely would!

    • says

      Hi Carolyn!!

      I served these at a recent party and they were a big hit – and the summer tomatoes do “make” this dish!! Thank you for stopping by the Table!!

  5. miguel says

    Hi Nancy,
    your post is promising, but I think you should call it “spanish fantasy” gazpacho. In fact is a mix of the three best known andalusian cold soups: gazpacho, salmorejo and ajoblanco; plus a “tapa” of spanish delicacies, one of which usually goes with salmorejo. Not bad, really, but is far from what you can call a spanish gazpacho. Aaah… by the way, NO CANOLA OIL, just extra virgin olive oil, andalusian or sicilian, and a tip: a bit of cumin. Congratulations.

    • says

      Hi Miguel,

      Thanks so much for your feedback… and you are right it’s isn’t a “traditional gazpacho in any way, shape or form… but it is good and that I think is what counts!!!

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