SSummer in Spain is pleasant, but it can get extremely hot. The pace of life slows down, and lunches and dinners tend to be long and relaxed, with cold, light dishes, like this zorongollo, a simple cold tapa, which is best served with a cold beer. Milk and Roasted Garlic Soup is one of my family favourites: refreshing and utterly delicious.
Zorongollo (top photo)
I love grilled or roasted peppers – the aroma they give off is earthy and smoky and really relaxes me. A few tips: use a good sherry vinegar and a really green extra-virgin olive oil. Plus, this recipe tastes even better when the peppers and tomatoes are barbecued for a wonderful charred flavor.
Preparation 10 minutes
To cook 45 minutes
3 very large reds peppers
2 large vine tomatoes
3 cloves of garlicskin on
Olive oilto water
Salt and black pepper
1 small red onionpeeled and thinly sliced
2 sprigs of fresh thymepicked leaves, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 slices of toasted breadmade with fresh crusty bread
2 hard eggssliced
6–8 anchovies (optional)
1 tbsp capers
2 tonssp sherry vinegar
Extra virgin olive oilto water
The day before your meal, heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Arrange the peppers, tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, season well, then cook roast for 45 minutes, until softened.
Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and let cool. Once cooled, peel off and discard any skins, making sure to reserve the juices for the marinade.
Put the tomato flesh and the garlic in a mortar and crush. Tear the flesh of the pepper into long strips, discarding the pit and seeds, then mix with the tomatoes, garlic and juice. Add the onion and thyme, stir to combine, then stir in the sherry vinegar, cover and let sit in a cool place overnight.
The next day, serve the zorongollo on fresh toast, topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs, torn anchovies and a handful of capers. Drizzle with a little sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, add a few thyme leaves and enjoy.
Creamy Milk and Roasted Garlic Soup with Manchego and Green Olive Toasted Bread
In Spain, garlic is the king of flavor and it is very important in our cuisine. So this recipe is all about garlic – there really is nothing quite like this soup, one of my mum’s favourites.
Preparation 15 minutes
To cook 1 hour
3 ttbsp olive oil
2 garlic bulbs
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tsp pimenton
Salt and black pepper
1 litre vegetables soup
200ml together Milk
For the green olive toast
200g pitted green olivescoarsely chopped
2 tonsbsp capers
1 clove of garlicpeeled
Finely grated zest of ½ lemonplus a good drizzle of juice
4 tonsbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 slices of crusty bread
Olive oilto water
Heat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan)/350 F/Gas 4. Rub a tablespoon of oil on the garlic bulbs, put them in a small roasting tin and roast them for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Remove and let cool – leave the oven on, though – then squeeze the soft flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork; discard the skins.
Put the remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the breadcrumbs for four to five minutes until golden brown. Pour into a saucepan over medium-high heat, then stir in the garlic and pimentón puree, season well and sauté for another minute. Pour in the broth, bring to the boil, leave to bubble for 20 minutes, then blend using an immersion blender.
Meanwhile, prepare the toast with olives. Put the olives, capers and garlic in a small food processor and blend to form a rough paste. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and extra virgin olive oil and season to taste.
Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for two minutes on both sides, until lightly toasted. Spread each slice of toast with the green olive mixture and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Return to the oven and cook for another two to three minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Pour the milk into the soup, simmer for a few minutes, then pour into six bowls. Float a piece of toast over each serving and serve.
Recipes taken from The Spanish Home Kitchen: Simple, Seasonal Recipes and Memories from My Home, by José Pizarro, published by Hardie Grant at £27. To order a copy for £23.49 go to guardianbookshop.com