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Cold Tomato Bread Soup with Basil (Karen’s take on “Salmorejo”)

Cold Tomato Bread Soup with Basil (Karen’s take on “Salmorejo”)

THE Summer Soup to devour! Healthy and delicious ~ a lightened up version with personality, creaminess and flavor. Vegan.

So creamy – no need to strain, whirl in your blender
Garnish with a drizzle of Basil Oil, Colorful Diced Tomatoes and Thinly Sliced Basil

My Cold Tomato Bead Soup with Basil is a take on the Andalucia region’s famous soup: Salmorejo from Spain. The ingredients are few – ripe, dark red vine ripened tomatoes are a must.

Cold Tomato Bread Soup with Basil (Karen’s take on “Salmorejo”)


1 ¾ pounds vine ripened tomatoes (I’ve used 2″ size)

2 cups sourdough bread, crusts removed, 1″ dice

2 teaspoons garlic, peeled and sliced (from 1 medium- large clove)

1 teaspoon sea salt 

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)

½ cup shallots, peeled, small dice

1 – 2 teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar 

⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or a big pinch of cayenne pepper)

¼ cups extra virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons fresh basil, thinly sliced 

4 tablespoons colorful tomatoes, small dice

1 recipe Basil Oil (will have extra for another recipe)



Wash and dry tomatoes. Cut them in quarters. Over the sink, grab a handful and squeeze to release their seeds… about half. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl. Repeat with all tomatoes.


Toast bread: Add to a 9″ inch skillet, toss in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, stir and cook over low heat until dried out and just starting to color, about 5 minutes.
Add toasted bread to bowl, add the garlic – sprinkle with 1 t. sea salt


Boil 4 cups of water, then add to the bowl. Let stand 20 minutes.
In the meantime, sauté shallots in 1 teaspoon olive oil over low heat for 5 minutes until very soft, yet not colored.


Remove 1 cup of tomato water to a cup (will add later), then press out all of the remaining water from the tomato-bread mixture.
Add contents of the bowl to a blender. I use a high speed Vitamix.
Whirl from low to high speed for one minute.


Add remaining ingredients except olive oil: sautéed shallots, sherry vinegar and red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Add 1/2 cup of reserved tomato water.


Whirl from low to high for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides the carafe.
Add the remaining olive oil through the top slowly – on low speed.
While one more minute at high speed.
Taste the soup! Some like more vinegar. If seems thick, add more tomato water until desired consistency.


Remove the soup to a clean container and refrigerate until cold.


To Serve:

Pour soup into individual bowls. Also lovely as an appetizer in shop glasses.
Drizzle with Basil Oil.
Top with chopped colorful tomatoes and thin sliced basil.


Basil Oil:

Blanch 1 cup of fresh basil leaves (place in pot with boiling water, stir, then immediately add to a strainer, then a small bowl of ice water. When cold, dry very well.

Add the basil leaves with 2/3 cups of extra virgin olive oil in a blender.
Whirl from low to high for one minute. Scrape down the sides to the carafe, then whirl one more minute. Strain the oil through a very fine mesh strainer (Save the basil solids for another recipe.) Strain again through a few thicknesses of cheesecloth for a clear green basil oil.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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