Cordoba is famous for it’s cold tomato soup, but it’s not gazpacho!
Salmorejo origin story
Legend has it that when Spanish soldiers held as prisoners after the Portuguese victory in the Battle of Montes Claros were returned to Spain, they brought the recipe for Salmorejo with them.
This story could be true since there is a very similar dish from Alentejo, Portugal where the battle was fought. It is called Sopa de Tomate Alentejana and is quite similar to Salmorejo.
Regardless of how the recipe arrived, it soon became very popular and today, Cordoba can rightfully lay claim to it.
What is Salmorejo?
The basic recipe for Salmorejo is very simple. Tomato, bread, garlic, and olive oil are pureed. Because of the bread, Salmorejo has a thicker consistency that it’s cold soup cousin Gazpacho. The kind of bread, telera, is important because the bread’s density is what gives Salmorejo it’s thick creaminess.
There’s no egg cooked in the broth of Salmorejo like the original Sopa de Tomate Alentejana. Instead, traditionally, chopped hard boiled egg and jamon (ham) are sprinkled on top. Vegetarians can order their Salmorejo without jamon and vegans can get theirs without egg as well.
Be forewarned, the garlic used in Salmorejo is often raw. Have a breath mint handy!
Where to get Salmorejo
Salmorejo has become so closely associated with Cordoba that there’s even a street named after the soup. It’s there you can see the recipe on the wall preserved in tile!
It seems every restaurant in Cordoba served Salmorejo, so finding a bowl won’t be difficult.
My favorite place for Salmorejo is Restaurante Sociedad Plateros María Auxiliadora. Not only do they have an excellent Salmorejo (there’s even a gluten-free option), but the restaurant has a great atmosphere. My favorite restaurant in Cordoba.
About the Author
Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides in Spain to Madrid and The Sherry Triangle. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.