Ajo blanco (cold almond soup, Spain)
It is Andalusia’s oldest cold soup with the gazpacho recipe to follow.
On a hot summer day it is a very easy and appropriate soup to make with no cooking involved.
The quality of the ingredients play the main part, as always in a dish consisting of just a few components. Allow a few hours for the soup to chill in the fridge. I don’t like to blend a raw garlic into the soup. Personally I find it hard to digest. Instead I add a few crushed garlic cloves into the soup and allow them to enhance the soup with their irreplaceable aroma.
Put the almonds into a blander or food processor and whizz until finely ground.
Add to the blender the olive oil, vinegar and stale bread (squeeze out by hand excess water). Blend it all together until you get a creamy consistency. Start adding the water (while keeping the blender running) and a bit of salt. Use as much water as you wish in order to get your preferred consistency.
Pour the soup into a bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add more vinegar if you enjoy more punchy notes.
Peel and crush the garlic cloves with the back of a knife. Pop them into the bowl along with the grapes (cut in half lengthways).
Cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours.
Decorate individual soup plates with extra grapes if you like and a drizzle of olive oil moments before serving.