gazpacho salmorejo

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time

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salmarejo

Salmorejo is a bread-thickened gazpacho from Cordoba. I got the recipe from Jeff Koehler, author of Rice Pasta Couscous. Jeff is an American who lives in Barcelona with a Spanish wife who comes from a food-mad family. I usually make chunkier, all-veggie gazpacho, but I have to say I was blown away by this version. It’s rich and satisfying in a way that pureed vegetables alone can’t be. One adjustment I made is to do away with the bell pepper and add more cucumber. I’m just not a lover of raw peppers. You can make it either way.

ingredients

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and quartered
1/2 to 1 cucumber, peeled (see note)
1/2 small green or red bell pepper, optional
2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3/4 to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces baguette or sandwich roll
sea salt or kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
garnishes: chopped hard-boiled egg, diced avocado, slivered ham

directions

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a large blender, combine the tomatoes, the whole cucumber [if you are not using the bell pepper] or half the cucumber [if you are using the bell pepper], bell pepper [if using], green onions, garlic, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of the oil. Tear the bread into pieces and add it. Add a good pinch of salt. Pulse ingredients until blended, then with motor running, pour an additional 1/4 cup oil through the tube or the hole in the center of the blender cap, pureeing mixture for at least a minute until very smooth. Remove lid, taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. If mxture is still too thick, either blend in a little more oil or add a few ice cubes, as I did, and whirl it again (this also helped chill it down quickly so I could eat it right away). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled.

To serve, ladle into bowls or mugs or even margarita glasses and garnish as desired.

note: use a regular cucumber not a large English cucumber. Or substitute a whole Kirby cucumber for the half cucumber if you are using the bell pepper.