Ajo blanco

Ajo blanco, a white version of gazpacho, is believed to have originated with the moors. If a silkier texture is desired, try soaking the blanched almonds in milk before processing. This will enhance the soup's delicate creaminess.

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 15 minutes preparation plus chilling time
  • Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (6 oz) blanched almonds
  • 4 slices crustless white bread, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz) cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz) seedles green grapes

To garnish

  • Toasted slivered almonds
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preparation

Combine the almonds, bread, and garlic in a food processor and blend until smooth. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the olive oil until a smooth paste is formed.

Add in the cold water and the vinegar. Process until the mixture is thin and smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Float the grapes on the top of the soup. Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator.

To serve, pour the soup into individual soup bowls and garnish with the toasted almond slivers and chopped parsley, if desired.

See also...

Andalusia recipes:  The Romans taught the Andalusians how to cultivate wheat and vines and used the fish from the seas to produce the best "garum" in the empire. The Arabs taught the Andalusians how to grow fruit and vegetables. They used irrigation systems and improved the cultivation of olive trees and the production of oil. Furthermore, the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Visigoths left their mark on the art, science, culture and gastronomy of Andalusia. 

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