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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

SALMOREJO: THE BEST ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN SOUP IN CÓRDOBA, SPAIN?


Welcome to Córdoba, the second city in our journey through Andalusia, and the third place we've visited in Spain. If you want to catch up on what we've eaten so far - including paella and more in Barcelona, and lots of tasty treats including Spanish omelette in Seville - you can keep up with our Spanish adventures here. If you've been following our adventures you'll know how impressed we have been with the vegan offerings in Spain so far. However, heading into Córdoba, we really didn't know what to expect.


This beautiful Andalusian city has so much to see, but can be neglected by tourists in favour of nearby Seville and Malaga. But once we'd checked out some of the sights of this pretty city online, we were certain we wanted it to be on our itinerary! It was an absolute delight to visit and see some of the things that make Córdoba unique: from La Torre and the Mesquita to the stunning views of the Roman bridge, we'd really recommend that you check Córdoba out while you're in Andalusia!


However, being a smaller city, and a little less famous on the tourist trail, we were a little unsure whether there would be much plant-based food to eat. And admittedly, their offerings weren't as numerous as in Seville or Barcelona. But wow - what we found really was worth it! And then we learned about Córdoba's most famous tapas dish, salmorejo, and knew that we would have to try it...


But wait, what exactly is salmorejo?

Less famous than gazpacho, which is known around the world as the cold Spanish tomato soup, salmorejo is a similar cold soup usually served as tapas. Just like gazpacho, salmorejo is tomato based, but there is a lot more to it than that! Because this cold soup... contains bread!


This dish originated in Spain, when Roman soldiers ate a 'soup' of water, vinegar, and stale bread. Over the decades, the dish was enhanced to improve its flavours, with the Moroccan influences in Cordoba credited with adding tomatoes, garlic, and spices to create today's much more palatable salmorejo.


Though this dish is accidentally vegan in its most basic form, many of the versions that you will find in the city have had extra toppings added which usually make it unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans. In many places across Andalusia, the salmorejo you can find will be topped with shredded ham, and sometimes boiled eggs too. However, if you look closely, you can always find a vegan salmorejo - and this was why we headed to Amaltea.


Where did we try a vegan salmorejo in Córdoba?

The brightly coloured Córdoban restaurant that we visited is known as Amaltea. Just down the road from the old Roman bridge, you'll find this perfect boutique style eatery. The staff here were so friendly and helpful, and I felt so drawn to this fuchsia and orange restaurant, which was full of traditional pine and wicker furniture. It felt like a living room and a restaurant all in one!


The menus at Amaltea have a very strong reputation for people of all dietary preferences. Though their standard menu contains meat and dairy, Amaltea have a full vegetarian menu, and a full, separate vegan menu too! There is so much to try here, and whatever you order you can be assured of really beautiful food, packed full of fresh and tasty ingredients - and the prices are really fair too! What's not to love?


So come on - tell us all about the salmorejo! How did it taste?

The salmorejo here was served as a starter, so the portion was larger than your typical tapas serving. And honestly, it was very filling - we were really surprised! It must be all the bread hiding in the orange coloured liquid! We didn't really know what to expect when we tried it, and really couldn't believe the fruity freshness.


With a really nice, rich tomatoey flavour, and a very comforting thickness, Amaltea's salmorejo is an absolute must try if you’re ever visiting Córdoba! We were so impressed by the presentation: each bowl of soup was beautifully garnished with fresh tomatoes, celery, radish shoots, and a drizzle of olive oil. Absolutely no attention to detail was spared here! It was thick and creamy, whilst also being very refreshing: so different to any soup you’ve ever tried before, and a definite bucket list experience!


How much did the salmorejo cost - and was it worth it?

This starter dish of salmorejo cost €8 (approx. £6.88 or $8.74) which, given the impeccable standard of flavour and presentation, we thought was a really good price. It is a little higher than your standard tapas salmorejo on the streets of Córdoba, but for a purpose-designed vegan alternative we were extremely pleased with this.


Whether we’d try it again? It would have to be in certain specific circumstances. We’ve been raised in the UK where soup is usually light and relatively simple, so this was a bit heavy for us. However, I wouldn't rule it out - it was certainly both refreshing and comforting - maybe we'd just share a portion, or order a tapas sized one. We were so glad we tried it though, and it really is a flavour we'd recommend trying while you're visiting Andalusia. The restaurant was really nice and a lovely place to spend time, the staff were absolutely lovely, and the food around us looked and smelled incredible. With their separate vegan menu we’d really recommend giving Amaltea a try!

Have you tried vegan salmorejo in Spain? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.




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The famous mosque-cathedral arches are an absolute must see!

Where should I stay?

After our trip to Barcelona, we were relieved to discover that accommodation is much more affordable in Andalusia! Córdoba is full of quaint hotels with great reputations, at reasonable prices. One of the most highly rated hotels is Patios del Orfebre which offers clean and comfortable rooms close to some of the best tourist attractions. For even more affordability, there are lots of great hostels in Córdoba. Líbere Córdoba Patio Santa Marta is really highly rated across the board, with a choice of private or dorm rooms, a pool, and newly refurbished, modern facilities - including simple smartphone check in - with a really convenient location too.


Tours & Experiences

Córdoba is the ancestral home of flamenco, and while we were in the city we visited Tablao El Cardenal for their flamenco show. This authentic courtyard performance wowed us both: the performers were so talented, and this booking link provides you with a free drink too! We had the sangria and very much recommend it!


There's so much to see and do in Córdoba though, so if flamenco isn't for you, why not check out some of the top-rated Viator tours displayed in the widget on the left!


Please note that the tours displayed on the left are automatically selected for their popularity by Viator, not chosen or recommended by us. Please check whether any food or drink based tours are suitable for your dietary requirements, and any animal-based experiences are ethical, before booking!





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