I have, however, kept a long list of dishes I tried while there, that I've been meaning to recreate. Chief among these was Salmorejo, a chilled, creamy raw tomato soup from the south of Spain that was one of Eugene's favorite things he ate during the entire trip.
Now that we're getting closer to tomato season (yay!), I figured it was time to finally share it.
The ingredients are otherwise super simple: ripe tomatoes, raw garlic, toasted almonds, fruity olive oil and a dash of sherry vinegar, then is served topped with chopped egg and jamon.
It may be really tempting to skip this step, but DO NOT. It really makes a huge difference...and it's easy. And it's fun!
I explain how to best do this below--just trust me on this...
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Salmorejo (Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup)
3 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted sandwich bread (about 3-4 slices)
1/2 cup whole almonds
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup chopped serrano ham, chorizo, or crisped bacon
Place a sieve over a bowl. Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze over sieve in order to remove the seeds. Set the squeezed tomatoes aside and repeat with rest of batch. Use a spoon to press the seeds in the sieve to strain as much liquid as possible. Discard seeds, but reserve the liquid in the bowl.
Combine toasted bread, almonds, and garlic in blender and process until coarsely chopped. Add tomatoes, reserved tomato liquid, vinegar, paprika, and puree until very smooth. (Do in batches if you don't have a very powerful blender.) Add a teaspoon of salt, and the olive oil, then puree again. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt, if desired.
Transfer to a covered bowl and chill at least 2 hours, or until very cold. Serve topped with chopped egg and jamon, bacon or chorizo.
NOTE: The texture should be thick and creamy, but smooth--similar to a butternut squash soup texture. If yours is too thick, add a bit of water. If too thin, add a bit more toasted bread.