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Creamy garlic soup and grilled peppers: José Pizarro’s recipes for light summer lunches | Food

Summer in Spain is lovely, but it can get extremely hot. Life’s rhythm slows down, and lunches and dinners tend to be long and relaxed, starring cold, light dishes, such as this zorongollo, a simple cold tapa, which is best served with a chilled beer. The milk and roast garlic soup is one of my family’s favourites: cooling and utterly delicious.

Zorongollo (pictured top)

I love grilled or roast 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. Also, this recipe is even better when the peppers and tomatoes are cooked on a barbecue to give a wonderful, charred flavour.

Prep 10 min
Cook 45 min
Rest Overnight
Serves 4

3 very large red peppers
2 large vine tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
, skin on
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and black pepper
1 small red onion
, peeled and finely sliced
2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

To serve
4 slices of toast, made with fresh crusty bread
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
6–8 anchovies (optional)
1 tbsp capers
2 t
sp sherry vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
, for drizzling

The day before you want to eat, heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Arrange the peppers, tomatoes and garlic on an oven tray, drizzle all over with oil, season well, then roast for 45 minutes, until softened.

Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool. Once cool, peel off and discard all the skins, making sure you reserve any juices for the marinade.

Put the tomato flesh and garlic in a mortar and crush. Tear the pepper flesh into long strips, discarding the core and seeds, then toss with the tomatoes, garlic and any juices. Add the onion and thyme, toss to combine, then stir in the sherry vinegar, cover and leave to 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 scattering of capers. Drizzle with a little sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, add a scattering of thyme leaves and enjoy.

Creamy milk and roast garlic soup with manchego and green olive toast

José Pizarro’s creamy milk and roast garlic soup.
José Pizarro’s creamy milk and roast garlic soup. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Hanna Miller. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay. Food styling assistant: Alice Earll

In Spain, garlic is the king of flavour, and it’s very important in our cooking. So, this recipe is all about the garlic – there is truly nothing like this soup, a favourite of my mum’s.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 6

3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic bulbs
100g
fresh white breadcrumbs
1 t
sp pimentón
Salt and black pepper
1 litre
vegetable stock
200ml
whole milk

For the green olive toast
200g pitted green olives, roughly chopped
2 t
bsp capers
1 garlic clove
, peeled
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
, plus a good squeeze of juice
4 t
bsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 slices crusty bread
Olive oil, for drizzling
75g
manchego, grated

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Rub a tablespoon of oil all over the garlic bulbs, put them in a small roasting tin and roast for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Remove and leave to 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 frying pan on a medium-high heat and fry the breadcrumbs for four to five minutes until golden. Tip into a saucepan over a medium-high heat, then stir in the mashed garlic and pimentón, season well and fry for another minute. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, leave to bubble for 20 minutes, then blitz smooth with a hand blender.

Meanwhile, make the olive toasts. Put the olives, capers and garlic in a small food processor and pulse to form a rough paste. Whiz in the lemon zest and juice and extra-virgin olive oil and season to taste.

Arrange the sliced bread on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake in the oven for two minutes on both sides, until toasted lightly. Spread each slice of toast with the green olive mixture and scatter the grated cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake for another two to three minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Pour the milk into the soup, leave to simmer for a few minutes, then ladle into six bowls. Float a piece of toast on each portion and serve.

  • Recipes extracted 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

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