recipe: salmorejo

Spain, salmorejo, receita, recipe

My second recipe! Again, it’s not my idea to turn Endless Mile into a food blog. But after Luis at Oleum Viride saw my description of how to make sopa hervida, he asked if I could publish a recipe for salmorejo. Another Spanish favorite to use leftovers, I just happen to have a fantastic recipe that I often make at home. Enjoy!


  • 1 kg tomatoes, (if possible do a mix: 600g still on vine for flavor + 400g roma variety for color) & at room temp for better emulsion
  • 200 g fresh baguette (not dry), torn into small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 10 g salt
  • Items for garnish (see below)

Related to gazpacho but with less veggies & less bread, salmorejo is known for its creamy, dense texture. There’s no finer way to showcase fresh tomatoes & fine olive oil. Don’t be tempted to add more garlic though… one clove is sufficient (& I am a huge fan of garlic!). The star of the show should be the tomatoes & olive oil.

Place roughly torn pieces of bread in the bottom of a large bowl with chopped tomatoes on top. Add salt to tomatoes so they release some of their water, draining onto the bread. This step makes emulsification easier, but in a pinch you can skip this step:

Spain, salmorejo, receita, recipe

Blend all ingredients except the olive oil with either a handheld or upright blender. The mixture should be a pale red color… whiz to your heart’s content, then slowly add olive oil as if making a mayonnaise. The more you add, the mixture turns a beautiful reddish-orange color:

Spain, salmorejo, receita, recipe

Spain, salmorejo, receita, recipe

Serve cold but not super chilled… a soup slightly cooler than room temp ensures that the oil’s flavors & aromas come out. Garnish with a little extra olive oil, small cubes of cured ham & chopped pieces of hardboiled egg. Quail eggs are more traditional… if available, hardboil them, peel & slice in half.

Variations on a theme

Of course, everyone’s grandmother has the perfect version of this recipe… anything else almost amounts to blasphemy ;-) But once you’ve tried a standard version like the one above, then you can move on to find your own favorite. For example, you could try:

  • Adding 3 T white vinegar. Purists will naysay, but I feel that the acidity helps cut through the denseness of so much olive oil
  • Decrease the amount of bread & add 150 ml extra olive oil (my all-time fave)
  • Experiment with different types of olive oil or make your own blend. Oil from arbequina olives is more subtle while the picual variety is more intense
  • Peel tomatoes before chopping
  • Alternative garnishes include chopped apple, orange or shrimp. Again, adding acidity is key

Spain, salmorejo, receita, recipe

No doubt this cool, summer soup will become a staple for your table. Share your results & tips here!

Comments ( 5 )
  • el Sr. F says:

    weird. I went crazy about salmorejo during my trip to Andalusia last january and looked up the recipe when I got back to BA. There were several differences between personal takes, but they all seemed to agree to use day-old bread (and most of them suggested using ripe tomatos). But then again, I guess it’s a matter of taste, right?

    PS: The Wikipedia entry for Salmorejo is fascinating, explaining the roman origins of the dish and the slow introduction of tomatos after the conquest of America (apparently, the current recipe is a 20th century invention, which makes sense considering that before the invention of the blender the dish was prepared using a mortar)

      • Robert says:

        My husband’s family is from Córdoba, & he spent a lot of time there growing up… he says my salmorejo is the best he’s had ;-) He’s told me how his grandmother would make it with a mortar & pestle as well. Too much work! Yea for blenders!! Of course ripe tomatoes have to be used since they are the protagonist. Also I believe fresh bread adds a richness that dry bread cannot. But to each his own. Can’t believe you’d never had salmorejo before your trip to España. Glad you liked it!

  • Brenda Berezuk says:

    Bonus…a second recipe of one of my favourites. Can’t wait to get home to try this one and the stuffing soup.

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