We are going to have to start a yellow tomato fan club and get you a hat and a badge. So said my guy at the tomato stand last weekend when I asked my usual weekly question, do you have any more yellow tomatoes? The yellow beef tomatoes that they sell are sublime and now a hallmark of every summer for me. As the season draws to a close I near panic about the looming lack of yellow tomatoes in darker days. Yellow tomatoes are distilled sunshine and last weekend I bought many in an effort to retain every sun soaked minute and prolong summer.
It has been a while since I have been to Spain – something that I must rectify soon – I fancy a retreat filled with excellent food and long days reading. A little wine too, of course. I am whisked back to Spain from my kitchen when I make of gazpacho, salmorejo and ajo bianco, the holy trinity of gorgeous cold Spanish soups.
Salmorejo – a speedy and gorgeous Spanish cold tomato soup
Salmorejo is what I will focus on here. A joy of a summer soup, my yellow tomatoes make it even better (you can of course use red).A soup bright and sweet with tomatoes, slick with extra virgin olive oil, tart and rich with sherry vinegar and thickened with leftover bread. Garlic too, and I like a lot of garlic (in everything). It is usually topped with boiled egg and jamon, today mine looks super swish but I was just using up what I had. Quail eggs, boiled for exactly 2 mins 30 seconds (time it and cool them in water after, they will never fail you), warm bacon and peppery nasturtium oil (a handful of nasturtium leaves from the garden blitzed with a good quality oil). Chive or basil oil would be great here too. Or even just a sprinkle of basil leaves. Basil loves tomato as much as I love this soup.
This is a 10 minute wonder soup and the blender does all the work (apart from peel the tomatoes!). You can dress it up or pare it back. I also love to use leftovers of this as a sauce for scallops or prawns (a couple of tablespoons spread underneath or drizzled on top).
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- 4 beef tomatoes (I used yellow, but of course use red if you like), best peeled with stem removed (for texture)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 slices stale bread
- 50ml sherry vinegar
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 3 quail eggs, boiled for exactly 2 mins 30 seconds, cooled off in water, peeled and halved
- Nasturtium oil (a handful of nasturtium leaves blended with 50 ml extra virgin olive oil - you will have leftover which you can use elsewhere). If you don't have nasturtium leaves substitute basil or chives
- 1 tbsp chopped cooked bacon (still warm) or 1 slice of jamon
- a sprinkle Aleppo pepper, Turkish pul biber or Korean pepper to finish (optional - I just love a milk fruity chilli hit)
- sea salt for seasoning