Salmorejo cordobes - tomato and bread soup

Salmorejo cordobes - tomato and bread soup
Salmorejo cordobes - tomato and bread soup 
Dietary
Vegetarian

Andy, the bar manager, describes this classic cold soup as "the beach cricket of Spain - it screams summer". For me, it's a celebration of the tomato at its vine-ripened best. Home gardeners with a surplus of tomatoes and a loaf of two-day-old bread will find this a pleasing solution to their oversupply. But follow the recipe - deviations may cause a flavour imbalance.

Ingredients

1kg vine-ripened, soft tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove

250g two-day-old pasta dura or other firm crusty bread, crusts removed

100ml fruity extra virgin olive oil

1 heaped tsp salt

200ml chilled water

3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped

80g jamon, cut into thin strips

fruity extra virgin olive oil, extra, to serve (optional)

Method

Puree the tomatoes and garlic in a food processor for 1 minute, or until smooth. Strain through a sieve, stirring and gently pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the skin and seeds.

Break the bread into golf ball-sized pieces and put in a large stainless steel bowl. Pour the strained tomato mixture and olive oil over the bread with the salt. (You'll need this amount of salt as it is a cold soup and anything served cold needs extra seasoning.)

Using very clean hands, squish the tomato mixture into the bread, really working the liquid through. Leave to stand for 15 minutes.

Puree the entire mixture again, adding enough of the chilled water until smooth and velvety. The soup should be salmon pink. Refrigerate until ready to serve with the egg, jamon, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired.

Serves 6.