Ajoblanco - White Gazpacho
Ajoblanco (sometimes written ajo blanco) is a popular Spanish cold soup typical from Granada and Málaga (Andalusia). It is also a common dish in Extremadura (Ajo Blanco Extremeño). Ajoblanco is made of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and sometimes vinegar. It is usually served with grapes or slices of melon.
The dish possibly has its origins in the Al-Andalus cuisine, given that almonds are the main ingredient of the dish. Either Seville or Málaga invented the dish, although its exact origin is unknown.
The bread (generally hard bread) is soaked overnight in order to soften it. The almonds and the garlic are mixed together (sometimes with vinegar) with a mortar and pestle until a white paste is formed. Finally water and olive oil are added and the mixture is beaten until it has an emulsion-like texture.
In some areas of Granada it is customary to eat it as an accompaniment to a "papa asá" (baked potato). When it is eaten in this way it is made slightly less thickly so as to be able to be drunk directly from a glass. In Málaga it is served with moscatel grapes and sometimes with pieces of other fresh fruit such as apple or melon. Nowadays ajoblanco is also commonly served with other combinations.
- 70-100 g stale country bread, without crust, cubed and tasted
- 200 g whole blanched, tasted peeled almonds
- 1 bitter almond (optional)
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (to your taste)
- 60 ml tbsp EV Olive oil (vegetable oil)
- 3-4 tbsp Sherry vinegar (white wine vinegar)
- 250 ml ice cold water (crashed ice)
- 2 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 bunch of white grapes, halved
- almonds, coarsely chopped or sliced, fresh ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes with just enough water to cover and set aside.
- In a blender, combine the almonds, garlic and salt. Mix until smooth.
- Squeeze the excess water out of the bread cubes and add the bread to the food processor. Mix well until it forms a paste. While the food processor is on, add the oil in a thin, steady stream.
- Add the vinegar, oil, sugar and the water. Pulse until the preparation is smooth. Chill before serving.
- For the garnish, quickly dry toast almonds in a saute pan until golden
- Serve the soup into glasses or bowls and garnish with the grapes and almonds, add a splash of oil, a few drops of vinegar, a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper
Olive oil could be changed for grape seed oil. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.