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SPANISH SALMOREJO COLD SOUP

Salmorejo (saal-mow-reh-how) is a rich, silky, chilled soup that relies on the juice of fresh tomatoes, not water, plus olive oil that gives it the kind of creaminess associated with real cream! Classic garnishes include fresh slices or crumbles of boiled eggs and crowned with crispy Serrano ham. A great substitute for the latter includes back bacon or Prosciutto. If you're already familiar with gazpacho, you'll find yourself with an awesome substitute! 

INGREDIENTS:

2 to 3 slices crusty white bread, cut in 2" pieces
5 to 6 medium tomatoes, peeled
1/2 tsp Kosher salt 
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced or 1 tbsp Garlic olive oil
2 tbsp Sherry Reserva Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup fresh extra virgin olive oil
4 slices Serrano ham, fried in olive oil, cut in small pieces
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced lengthwise (or finely chopped)
Basil olive oil for drizzle

DIRECTIONS:
To peel tomatoes cut an X in the top of each tomato. Place in pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and place in an ice bath of water for 5 minutes. The skins will peel right off. While tomatoes are in ice bath, soak bread in water for 2 minutes. If the crusts are excessive, remove some before placing in soaking water. Add tomatoes to food processor. Squeeze water from bread. Place in processor. Pulse once or twice. Add remaining ingredients except olive oil, and blend until very smooth. Slowly, add olive oil and blend until emulsified and creamy. Season generously to taste. Chill in the fridge, covered, for at least two hours. Fry ham (or back bacon) until crispy. Set aside on paper towel. Boil eggs and set aside to cool, then peel. When serving in bowls, garnish with crispy ham, sliced or finely chopped eggs, and extra olive oil. We love to add a drizzle of Basil olive oil, too. Or if you prefer, additional extra virgin olive oil.