My favourite cold soup is Ajo Blanco also known as white gazpacho. It is actually the original gazpacho of Spain, it existed way before the tomato gazpacho we all know. The Spanish Ajo blanco is not only garlic as the name might suggest, but a mix of almonds, garlic, and bread.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
🥘 Main ingredients
- white bread (stale)
- almond milk
- water (cold)
- quality olive oil
- sherry vinegar
💭 Thoughts and tips
For me the most important feature of this soup is the olive oil. Only use high quality olive oil, it makes such a difference to this soup. It is very easy and quick to make, but keep it mind that it will need a good amount of chilling in the fridge. And in my opinion the longer the better.
You can very lightly toast the almonds before blending (to release a little bit of their nuttiness) but this is actually not necessary. Originally a Spanish ajo blanco is just almonds, garlic, and bread. But nowadays many people add cucumber for freshness, or grapes for sweetness, or apple for extra acidity. I would say; Try them all! and pick your favorite If you happen to be in grape season, it is absolutely lovely to garnish the soup with white grapes.
🍷 Wine pairing
I think of an Ajo Blanco, and I think of Rosé!! Maybe it is because I tend to eat Ajo Blanco's in the summer, which in my area means Rosé time. But giving it a second thought, a dry fruity Rosé does just go extremely well with this soup. If you want to stay in Spain an Amontillado sherry, would match very well. Or go for bubbles! Champagne or a good Cava would go beautifully! Cheers!
Play around with the different suggestions, and discover your own favourite. Let me know what you came up with. I am always very curious about your creations, and would LOVE to see your pictures. Add @haricoco1 to your Instagram posts. Thanks, And ENJOY!
- 220 grams (2 cups) blanched almonds
- 100 grams (2½ slice) white bread (stale) Can be gluten free
- 3 Tablespoons almond milk
- 600 ml (2½ Cups) water (cold)
- 3 large cloves of garlic chopped
- ½ cucumber peeled and chopped
- 200 ml (1 cup) olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Very lightly toast the almonds in a dry pan, and let them cool down
- Soak the bread in a bit of almond milk or water (or both), minimum 10 minutes.
- Put the almonds in a food processor (keep some separate for decorating). Squeeze out the bread and tear bits apart and add to the almond, with a little splash of the water, and blend for a minute or two.
- Than slowly start adding all the water to the blender
- Add the garlic, cucumber (keep some separate for decorating), the olive oil and the vinegar, blend until smooth.
- Sieve the soup, and leave in the fridge for about 4 hours.
- To serve, add a few almonds, chopped cucumber, and a drizzle of high quality olive oil.
This Ajo Blanco recipe is part of my new series; 'Travels of taste'. We use our taste buds to travel the world and discover the use of our senses and imaginations to meet other cultures through food. So today we find ourselves around the Mediterranean. If you are ready to imagine yourself travelling around the Mediterranean while sensing its salty air & hot summers and tasting its incredible variety of fresh food. Check out my full Mediterranean 'travels of taste' post; >>> The Med; Olive oil, herbs & fresh produce.