Salmarejo, Crispy Bellota Ham, Soft Boiled Hen’s Egg
This is a delicious, light soup consisting of tomato and bread, it originates from Cordoba in Andalucia, Southern Spain and it captures everything we love about the fresh flavours of summer. We have used our own home-made sourdough in this recipe, which compliments the aged vinegar and deep tomato flavours. If you want to raise this from a 'simple' recipe to the heights of 'show off' then follow our sourdough recipe and serve on the side with pride. Otherwise choose the best looking sourdough you can find.
The key to this recipe is the quality of the ingredients, they need to be able to speak for themselves, perfectly ripe flavoursome tomatoes, a really good quality vinegar, the freshest eggs and the best Bellota or Serrano ham. Matt, The Swan's head chef, is passionate about Greek Basil this summer, its slight bite of aniseed giving this soup another blast of summer flavour. We are growing it in vast quantities in the kitchen garden at Thyme, but it is widely available in the supermarkets as a potted herb.
- 1kg ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
- 200ml Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar or a good sherry vinegar
- 4 Cloves of garlic, chopped
- 100g sourdough bread, crust off & torn loosely
- 400ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea salt
- 1 Pinch of Chilli flakes
- 50g Fresh basil leaves we love Greek basil)
- 2 large free range eggs, soft boiled (6 minutes) and cut in half
- 8 Generous slices of Iberico Bellota Jamón or a good Serrano Ham
- Place all of the ingredients, except the basil and the olive oil, into a mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave overnight or at least 8 hours in a cool dark place to cure.
- The next morning, pre heat oven 180°c.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil and carefully drop the eggs in, boil for 6 minutes, then into an iced water bath to chill.
- While the eggs are cooling, place the Jamón on to a non-stick oven tray or between two sheets of parchment paper and bake for approx. 10 mins or until crisp. Be careful when removing from the oven, the fat will be very hot. Place the ham on kitchen towel to soak up any excess fat and cool to a crisp.
- Now place all the ingredients from the mixing bowl into a blender, add the basil and pulse for 2 minutes.
- Then on a continuous setting slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture and blend until smooth.
- Check you are happy with the seasoning before serving, adjust if necessary, you may want to use the juice of half a lemon instead of extra salt, this will help to lift the soup and draw more flavour.
You don't need to heat this soup before serving, so just pour into your serving dish or dishes, garnish with the egg halves and the crispy ham. Finish your dish with some basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil and your sourdough on the side.