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Salmorejo, a creamy gazpacho without cream

While making room in the freezer for this year’s batch of tomato sauce, I came upon several containers of same from previous years. What to do? Make soup!

It wasn’t until Simon made the homemade variety that I ever dared to touch tomato soup —after a childhood (and adulthood) of making wrinkled faces at the canned stuff. It is really much different. And in the spirit of being different, I wanted to try salmorejo, a very interesting type of gazpacho from Córdoba in Andalucía. It’s very creamy, without any milk products. The magic comes from leftover bread and copious amounts of olive oil.

salmorejo in sunlight

A more traditional version starts with fresh tomatoes, and a lot less garlic. But this recipe helps me clear out the freezer for this summer’s tomato generation, as well as clearly exposes my penchant for excessive garlic use. (You may, of course, use less.) Quite tasty indeed, whether you wish to deter vampires or use up some wolf-peach sauce.


  • 3 ounces stale bread; if crusts are thick or hard, remove them
  • 3 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped in half, roughly
  • 1 1/4 to 1/2 cups good quality tomato sauce, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, if the sauce hasn’t been seasoned


  1. Moisten the bread with water until completely soaked through, but not mushy or gummy. Squeeze out and discard the liquid. Crumble the wet bread, and set aside in a small bowl.
  2. Place the garlic, tomato sauce, sherry vinegar, cumin and half the bread in a food processor or blender and purée for 20 to 30 seconds.
  3. Add the rest of the bread and process for another 10 to 20 seconds.
  4. Switch the processor to run continuously, and slowly pour in the olive oil. The soup will develop a creamy orangey-pink shade.
  5. Season with salt, pepper or more vinegar, if needed. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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