SALMOREJO (cold tomato and garlic soup from Cordoba, Spain, for six)


2 pounds ripe tomatoes

4 thick slices good-quality country white bread (about 8 ounces) crusts removed and bread coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled

fine sea salt

1 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish

2 hard boiled large eggs, peeled and finely chopped

4 ounces serrano ham, finely chopped

1.With a small, sharp knife, core each tomato.  Put the tomatoes in a blender and blend to a thick puree.  Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds and shreds of skin, then return to the blender.  Stir in the bread and let steep for 10 minutes.

2. Add the garlic clove and 1 teaspoon salt and puree until the mixture is smooth. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream to achieve a glossy, thick soup.  Pour the soup into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Serve in shallow soup bowls, sprinkling a little chopped hardboiled egg and chopped ham into the center of each.

from Paul Richardson, Rustic Spanish (Williams Sonoma) 

NOTE:  Can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered and refrigerated.

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