Cool down with Spain’s “other” famous chilled tomato soup

Salmorejo is Spain’s lesser known but creamier chilled tomato soup. It has less than half the ingredients of gazpacho, but is no less tasty thanks to a filling of savory ham and hard-boiled egg.

The version we sampled in Seville had a thick enough consistency to be a crudité dip, but was refreshing and silky, with a crisp flavor that showcased the creamy ham and egg. It was more than the sum of its parts.

For the version of our book “Mediterranean Tuesday evenings”, which presents dishes from the region on weekdays, we prefer perfectly ripe tomatoes in high season. Out of season, Campari or cocktail tomatoes are also a good choice, as they are always sweet all year round.

Great results also require high quality extra virgin olive oil, so make sure the oil you use doesn’t have bitter or harsh notes. The bread helps thicken the soup and gives it its creamy consistency; choose a crusty country bread with a relatively soft interior so that the bread mixes easily with the soup, but remember to remove the crust.

A teaspoon of sugar brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and a few tablespoons of sherry vinegar balance out the richness of the olive oil.

To keep soup fresh for as long as possible at the table, we like to refrigerate serving bowls. And don’t forget to taste the soup for seasoning after cooling, just before serving. Chilling dulls the flavor, so even if the soup initially tasted good, after cooling it will likely need additional salt and pepper.

Andalusian tomato and bread soup

Start to finish: 15 minutes, plus cooling

Servings: 4

2 pounds ripe tomatoes (see base note), cored

2½ ounces white country bread (see note), crust removed, torn into small pieces (about 1½ cups)

½ medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped

1 medium garlic clove, crushed and peeled

1 teaspoon of white sugar

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more for serving

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

4 thin slices of prosciutto (2 ounces), torn into pieces

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered (optional)

¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a blender, mix the tomatoes, bread, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Blend on high power until completely smooth and no bits of tomato skin remain, about 1 minute. While the blender is running, gradually add ¾ cup of oil. Transfer to a large bowl, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, 2 to 4 hours.

While the soup cools, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer prosciutto to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool completely, then roughly chop; put aside.

Taste the soup and season again with salt and pepper. Pour it into chilled bowls. Garnish with prosciutto, hard-boiled egg (if using) and parsley. Drizzle with additional oil and vinegar if desired.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at

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