In Baena, the summer soup called salmorejo is king! It’s a smooth, thick, almost foamy cold tomato soup, a variation on gazpacho with a small amount of water and far fewer vegetables, heightened by the taste of a quality extra virgin olive oil and a shock of fine sherry wine vinegar.
Salmorejo has become so popular you now find it served throughout Spain. The following recipe is from the American chef Richard Stephens, chef-owner of the restaurant La Gamella in Madrid. He follows the cardinal rule of the dish: the tomatoes must not only be ripe, they must also be aromatic; and the soup must be left overnight to rest so the flavor will properly develop.
This rich, salmon-pink soup is garnished with ribbons of serrano ham and cubed whites of hard-cooked eggs, creating a stunningly beautiful visual contrast.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.