Ina Garten's Simple Addition To Liven Up The Flavor Of Salmorejo

Soup doesn't always have to be hot. When summertime hits, luscious gazpacho, vichyssoise, borscht, and fruit soups make for a perfectly satisfying and refreshing meal. Served either chilled or at room temperature, cold soups are a great way to make use of some of your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables. Cold soups are delicious, and when it comes to cold soups, celebrity chef Ina Garten is a fan of Salmorejo.

If you are unfamiliar, Salmorejo hails from Spain and is made using beautiful ripe tomatoes. It is very similar to gazpacho; However, Salmorejo distinguishes itself from gazpacho by only using tomatoes whereas a gazpacho tends to incorporate other veggies. Salmorejo also relies on stale bread as a primary ingredient, which is blended with the tomatoes to thicken this pureed poetry. This traditional Spanish fare is often topped with ham and eggs, but there are plenty of modern American twists on this soup, including Frito Pie With Smoked Salmorejo

Of course, if you really want to make the flavor of your Salmorejo pop, the Barefoot Contessa adds a simple ingredient that you do not need to make — and probably have in your pantry.

Tomato puree

While she uses traditional ingredients like garlic, olive oil, and Sherry wine vinegar, Ina Garten said on an episode of "Barefoot Contessa" that she diverts from the classic Salmorejo recipe by adding red onions and holland red peppers to her dish. Additionally, Garten recommends adding some tomato puree to this soup to really compliment her Salmorejo's flavor. 

How is tomato puree different from the tomatoes already in this meal? Tomato puree is best described as a combination of tomatoes that have been both cooked and strained. It is seasoned with salt and lemon juice giving it a savory and tart flavor, and is a little on the chunky side. But, because it is thinner than a tomato paste but thicker than tomato sauce, it blends nicely into soups and sauces without altering its consistency.

Garten serves her version of Salmorejo chilled and tops her bowls of this soup off with basil for "contrast" in addition to some small yellow pear tomatoes, croutons for a little crunchy texture. And, if you need a little protein, the cookbook author recommends serving it with some shrimp to make it a complete meal.