Monday, July 02, 2007

Gazpacho Blanco

Last summer I made caraffe after caraffe of delicious, zingy Andalusian gazpacho because a.) it's eaten chilled and just feels so good on a hot, unairconditioned day and b.) it doesn't get cooked so you don't heat the house up making it.

For a little excitement, I have a variation for you that's as traditional but probably a surprise for anyone who isn't from Southern Spain: White Gazpacho. No tomatoes or red peppers but you get the smooth creaminess of blanched almonds and the cool of fresh cucumbers:

1 cup skinless blanched almonds
crumb of 4 pieces of white bread (not wonderbread, but something more flavorful and substantial)
2 medium cloves garlic
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups cold water
2/3 cups olive oil
salt to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, pulverize the almonds and the garlic until they are in very fine pieces. Add the chopped cucumber and process until you have a paste. Add the water and process for 1 minute to make sure that you get a smooth, liquid consistency then open the "feeding tube" (you know that thing in the lid of the processor that you can pull off to add stuff while you're already processing? Well that.) and add the salt and drizzle in the olive oil. You will have a green-white creamy soup. Strain though a mesh strainer, chill and enjoy.

What I've made for you here is a variation of the classic Arabo-Anzalusian soup, Ajo Blanco. The original dish has no cucumber and adds halved green grapes as garnish. With or without cucumbers, it's a rich and delicious way to chill out and relax. Music to chill out and sip White Gazpacho By: "Chill Out" by Carlos Santana. Happy Dog Days!


Blogger Christina said...

Beautiful! I may have to make this for lunch today--it's so hot and this sounds like the perfect light meal. Thanks for the inspiration.

Happy day!

7:25 PM  
Anonymous ann said...

oooh! I made this last year and garnished it with lightly pickled melon instead of grapes. It was awesome! Thanks for reminding me I should make this again. Good stuff!

3:03 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Christina, Is it hot in California now? The soup is really cool and pretty satisfying. Let me know how it turned out.

Hi Ann, Actually, melon sounds a lot more attractive than grapes. I'll have to try that. Thanks!

8:22 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

this sounds simple, yet different and delicious! i'll try it when i get home.

3:07 AM  
Blogger chemcookit said...

Hey Susan,
wow, this is a great idea! I'll try that soon! Thanks for sharing such an interesting recipe. :)

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Susan:
At which point do we add the bread?

Many thanks for keeping up your great website!


8:12 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Melissa, It's very diffrent from regular gazpacho; it's creamy.

Hi Chem., thanks!

Hi Anonymous, Oops! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. You add the bread in the beginning after it has been soaked through with water.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Hassy said...

did anyone trying using less oil and to what result? thanks!

10:43 AM  

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