Also known as salmorejo, this zesty, chilled tomato soup has claimed space in supermarkets and on menus around the world, but few compare to refreshing Spanish gazpacho made with full-flavoured Spanish tomatoes. Usually eaten as an appetizer – and sometimes drunken straight from a bowl or glass – this thick soup is made from blending a whole heap of fresh tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, garlic, onions, vinegar and herbs. It’s the perfect Spanish food for summer, as well as a low calorie and healthy dish. Salmorejo is a similar Andalucian version combining pureed bread, tomatoes, garlic and vinegar – also served cold – and sometimes varied with a bit of ham or egg slices on top.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Place tomatoes in boiling water for 20 seconds or until their skins crack. Remove and rinse under cold water. Peel the skin off, cut into quarters and remove the seeds. If you’re too lazy, feel free to leaves the seeds in – more fibre that way.
- Peel the cucumber and cut in half going lengthways. Using a spoon, remove some of the more obvious seeds, if you like but not essential. Roughly cut all vegetables.
- Process tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, onion, chilli, garlic and zest of 1 orange with water and tomato juice in a food processor or a blender until fairly smooth consistency. Then add the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt and pepper and process quickly until well incorporated but not over-blended so it starts foaming. Depending on the consistency you prefer, you can add more water or tomato juice.
- Eat right away or refrigerate for an hour before serving in bowls or glasses with diced veggies and herbs for garnish.
- Deep-fry the croquetas in hot olive oil, drain on paper towel and serve immediately.