“What to eat on a hot summer’s day?
You could do a whole lot worse than a bowl of cold soup”.
So believes River Kitchen’s Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. Chilled soups are enjoyed throughout Spain with perhaps Gazpacho being the best-known of all. A classic from the Andalusia region of Spain, made from tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, olive oil, sherry vinegar and garlic, it is full of ripe summery flavours. Other cold soups include the refreshing Ajo Blanco or White Gazpacho, made with almonds, that features in the Guardian’s 10 Best Spanish Recipes for the Summer. And then there’s Salmorejo, a soup originating from Córdoba in the south, gazpacho’s thicker, creamier cousin. Basic Salmorejo is like a pared-down gazpacho, made with just garlic, vinegar, olive oil, tomatoes and bread. Whilst gazpacho is often drank straight from a glass, this dish is thick and creamy and often topped with hardboiled egg and crisped chunks of serrano ham. The creaminess is not from any added cream though, it’s the combination of the olive oil and the tomatoes that gives it its smoothness and richness. Strawberry Salmorejo is a variation on this classic Córdoban dish that uses strawberries together with the tomatoes. Like the tomatoes they also bring some acidity to the dish and so the balance of the taste in the soup is very similar. In fact, you’ll find that strawberries often deliver more acidity than tomatoes so you’ll need less vinegar to balance the dish out.
A bowlful of this delicious cold soup makes the perfect quick, refreshing lunch.