I promised I would post this recipe at some point in my blog after talking about how great it was when we had it while visiting Spain. So, here it is.
This style of cold soup originated in the city of Córdoba in the south of Spain. When preparing this dish, you'll want to use two kinds of olive oil: A lightly flavored oil is pureed into the soup, but a stronger, fruitier Spanish oil gets drizzled over just before serving, for a flavorful accent.
· 2 cups room-temperature water
· 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
· 2 cups (packed) coarsely torn day-old baguette with crust (about 4 ounces)
· 10 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
· 1/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
· 1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
· 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
· 1 garlic clove, peeled
· 1 1/2 cups lightly flavored extra-virgin olive oil
· 3 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
· 1/3 cup chopped Serrano ham* (about 1 1/2 ounces)
· Fruity Spanish olive oil (for drizzling)
· Stir 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon coarse salt in medium bowl to dissolve. Add bread; soak 30 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from bread; reserve soaking liquid.
· Puree half each of chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, Sherry wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and garlic in blender until very smooth. With machine running, gradually add half of bread, adding reserved soaking liquid by tablespoonfuls if mixture is too thick to blend. Puree until very smooth. With machine running, gradually add half of light extra-virgin olive oil (mixture will turn slightly orange). Transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, Sherry wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, garlic, bread, and oil. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Season to taste with salt.
· Divide soup among small bowls. Sprinkle chopped egg and ham over. Drizzle with Spanish olive oil and serve.
· *An uncooked, cured Spanish ham (also called jamón Serrano); sold at specialty foods stores and Spanish and Latin markets. If unavailable, prosciutto can be substituted.
Makes 8 servings