A refreshing and easy to make mediterranean summer cold soup: that is Arjamolho. This delicious Portuguese dish is very similar to gazpacho but has its own twist. The recipe is quick and easy and ensures a perfect satisfaction in the hot summer days.
What kind of dish is this
Arjamolho is a Portuguese cold soup made of fresh vegetables and spices. In my view it is a soup-salad hybrid. It is perfect for the summer as it is cold and refreshing. Even though it is quite similar to the more popular gazpacho and probably has the same origin, the preparation of Arjamolho is a bit different: the vegetables are cut finely and minced.
The origin of Arjamolho is from Algarve region, which is the most south part of Portugal. I found several sources with Arjamolho recipes and, naturally, there are few variations of the dish. I will try to summarise all the differences here so you can prepare the perfect Arjamolho for your taste.
Tips to make this soup
There are several points to consider before starting the preparation of Arjamoljo:
- The necessary vegetables for this soup are tomatoes, onion, garlic, green peppers and cucumbers. The cucumber is considered as optional and in some of the variations there were also no peppers. In my view the combination of all vegetables is really great so I don’t recommend you to exclude any of them.
- Originally the vegetables are minced in a mortar and pestle in order to blend all the tastes. However the process of mincing all vegetables would be quite tedious, therefore in some of the recipes they are simply chopped very finely. I found a good compromise mincing part of the vegetables with the garlic and the oregano and then mixing them well with the rest.
- It is important to use a rustic bread that is stale. Any kind of soft bread, even old and dry, would not be suitable as it will become soggy.
- Don’t skip the oregano as it is considered to bring the main flavour to this soup.
- It is important the soup to be eaten very cold so don’t hesitate to add few pieces of ice.
Originally this soup is served as a side dish to baked sardines. I find it perfect as a refreshing starter or as a side to any main dish. It is definitely a soup that is worth trying, given the fact that is easy and requires just few simple ingredients.
I really hope you like this recipe! If you are interested in other cold summer soups, check out our Tarator recipe as well!
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 green pepper
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup/ 60 ml olive oil
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2-3 slices rustic bread stale (about 200 g/ 7 oz)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups/ 500 ml cold water see notes
- Cut the skin on the bottom of the tomatoes as an X. Heat some water in a medium saucepan. When the water starts simmering, drop the tomatoes inside the water for 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes and peel them – the skin will come out easily.
- Cut the bread into small pieces, more or less like croutons.
- Chop the tomatoes very finely. Clean the pepper and peel the cucumber and chop them as well into fine pieces. Finely chop also the onion.
- In a mortar and pestle mince the garlic. Add some of the vegetables and the oregano and mince them as well so they blend together. Add also few bread pieces and mince them too.
- Transfer the minced vegetables to a bowl. Add also the rest of the chopped vegetables and oregano.
- Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix everything very well.
- Pour about 2 cups/ 500 ml cold water. Add ice, if necessary.
- Mix very well. Serve in bowls with the bread pieces inside.