The Latin Road Home: Jose Garces’ recipe for salmorejo from the November cover

Our November cover story features Chef Jose Garces and the farm he recently opened alongside his home in Ottsville, Pa. In the article, Garces talks about a salmorejo he makes with tomatoes from his farm. The recipe, which he shared with us below, is taken from his new cookbook The Latin Road Home (Lake Isle Press, Oct. 2012; $35). Read the full cover story here. 

Salmorejo: Gazpacho with Strawberries, Eggs and Olives

Serves 8

Note: A very thorough purée is essential; you want the tomato seeds completely pulverized so that the base has a very smooth, uniform texture. For both the puréeing and the subsequent emulsifying step, you will need to work in batches, divvying up the ingredients proportionally according to the size of your blender and seasoning each to taste with salt and sugar and additional vinegar, if desired. Be sure that the batches are proportional (otherwise the texture of the finished soup will be off).

Soup

  • 5 lb ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 small day-old baguette, crust removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Arbequina olive oil*
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated sugar (optional)

To Serve

  • 16 ripe strawberries, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 chicken egg, hard-boiled, peeled, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp pitted, slivered kalamata olives
  • 2 (4-oz) cans ventresca tuna packed in olive oil, drained and flaked
  • Minced fresh chives (optional)

*Arbequina olive oil is available at The Tubby Olive (now located in the Reading Terminal Market) and online from Despaña Brand Foods, La Tienda, Olé Olé and Amazon. A high-quality extra virgin olive oil that’s light-bodied with a lightly fruity and olive flavor can also be substituted.

To make the soup:

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and baguette in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Purée in small batches in a blender or food processor for 2 to 3 minutes per batch, until the mixture is very smooth and the tomato seeds are no longer visible. Continue puréeing the mixture while slowly adding the extra virgin olive oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified (try to add proportional amounts of oil to each batch, see headnote).  Season to taste with salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing through the solids with the back of a wooden spoon. Working in batches, return a portion of the purée to the blender. With the machine running, slowly add a proportional amount of the Arbequina olive oil in a thin stream, processing until the mixture is emulsified. Again season to taste with salt and (if necessary) sugar and/or additional vinegar. Repeat with the remaining portions of the tomato purée and Arbequina oil, then whisk the batches together. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and sugar. Cover and refrigerate the soup until it is well chilled, at least 1 hour.

For the garnish, first char the strawberries. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place the strawberries in the pan and quickly char on one side. Remove the berries from the skillet and keep warm.

Serve the salmorejo cold, garnished with the warm charred strawberries, eggs, olives, tuna, chives.