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.
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.
As you can read in my ‘notes’ in the recipe, you can use different fruits in the soup. Originally there was no fruit at all in the soup, but as our palates changes, our dishes change.
What shall we drink with a ajo blanco?
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!
100 g ( 2 1/2 slice white) bread (stale), Can be Glutenfree bread.
3 tbsp almond milk
600 ml ( 2 + 1/2 cups) water (cold)
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
200 ml ( 1 cup) olive oil
4 tbsp 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.
The most important thing for me with this delicious summer soup is to use high quality olive oil. 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.
Ajo Blanco- White Gazpacho
Amount Per Serving:
% Daily Value*
Total Fat75.53 g
Saturated Fat 8.73 g
Trans Fat 0.02 g
Total Carbohydrate25.18 g
Dietary Fiber 6.78 g
Sugars 4.7 g
Vitamin A 0.21 %
Vitamin C 2.53 %
Calcium 20.39 %
Iron 17.47 %
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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.