I am totally out of balance. I am taking the first step towards the life of full time travel: I am selling my house. This past month has been spent fixing, painting and cleaning. It is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I had the chance to travel through my career, but this step is a big one. I cannot wait to be there.
I just returned from a familiarization tour in Spain. I spent 3 days in Madrid and took the train south to Seville and Cordoba. The trip was packed with activities, and never had the chance to spend time by myself; the entire trip was planned for us. That said, it does not mean I did not experience some great things, mainly the food. It felt I ate non-stop from the time we landed to the time we took off 7 days later.
Food in Spain, like in France is a religion. We do not miss a meal, and the opportunity for a well-deserved “siesta”. Shops close around 1:00 pm and do not re-opened until around 4:00/5:00 pm. Do not show up in a restaurant for dinner at 6:00 pm, it won’t be open. Spaniards go out for dinner late in the evening. Restaurants are packed at 10:00 pm when the towns come alive with evening activities.
Of course we ate the traditional paella and lots of tapas. One dish was offered at every meal: the traditional cold tomato soup called Salmorejo. It is my understanding this cold soup originated from Cordoba. Once finished, it has the consistency of a thick sauce or puree. It can be garnished with a number of ingredients, but we always had it served with hardboiled egg and Spanish iberico ham. The key to a successful salmorejo is to use a really good extra virgin olive oil, and quality tomatoes. It is very filling, cheap and nutritious recipe. People make this soup in large quantity and have it as refreshment during the hot days of summer. It keeps well for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator.
Directions to prepare Salmorejo:
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 3 Large Tomatoes. Make sure to use ripe and good quality tomatoes; this will make all the difference.
- 2 Green Peppers
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Table Spoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Table Spoon of Cherry Vinegar
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mixed until smooth. You can add some bread without the crust to thicken the soup if too liquid. Cool it in the fridge for a couple of hours, and this delicious Cold Tomato Soup will be ready to eat.
Serve in a soup dish, and sprinkled chopped iberico cured ham and chopped hardboiled egg on top.