White Gazpacho Recipe

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KEY POINTS
 Preparation Time:  Cooking Time:   but 3
 hours cooling.
 How Difficult Very easy  Freeze?   No
 Servings

4 -6 starters

WHITE GAZPACHO SOUP - COOK'S NOTES
This cold Spanish soup probably dates back  to the 1200's, it certainly goes back further than the introduction of tomatoes to Spain in the 16th century. Hence its name, "white gazpacho" because it has no tomatoes in it.

White gazpacho soup is served cool but definitely not very cold and ice has no part in this recipe, it simple deadens the flavour. And of course, when they served this White Gazpacho Soup many years ago, fridges were unknown.

Farm workers in the Granada area of Spain popularised it because it is such a thirst-quenching drink. The women would prepare the gazpacho in an earthenware pot, which kept the soup cool, for the male farm workers. Like many Spanish recipes the ingredients were simple and widely available as local produce.

The soup consists of ground garlic, olive oil, yesterday's stale bread, cucumber and peppers, a touch of vinegar and nuts. Originally pine nuts were used but when the Moors introduced almonds to Spain these replaced the pine nuts.

There is no one set recipe for white gazpacho but the one we describe below is typical. In some areas the cucumbers and white peppers are substituted with more available vegetables. The soup is very often served with figs and grapes.

If you have time on your hands and want to blanch the almonds yourself then simply buy un-blanched almonds and add them to lightly boiling water for 30 seconds or so. Plunge them into cold water and when they have cooled squeeze each almond with your fingers. With luck the blanched almond will pop out leaving the kin in your fingers. Very, very time consuming but somehow a very satisfactory operation!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

How Much
One day old stale bread with the crust removed 180g / 6˝oz
Blanched almonds

150g / 5Ľoz

Extra virgin Spanish olive oil

240ml / 8fl oz / 1 cup

Garlic cloves

2

Sherry vinegar (wine vinegar is also OK) 3 tablespoons
Salt Half a teaspoon or to taste

To garnish use any combination of grapes, figs, parsley and chives

COOKING EQUIPMENT
Food processor

Method
  
Let the bread soak in about 1cm of water in a bowl for 10 minutes. Add the bread and all the other ingredients, except the olive oil, to the food processor and blend for one minute until smooth.

Slowly add the olive oil, with the food processor blending, to the mixture. Taste the soup and add more alt and vinegar to taste. Pass the soup through a sieve with the assistance of a wooden spoon. Place in the refrigerator for two and a half hours.

Serve with crusty bread and garnish with any of the ingredients mentioned above.

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