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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 soup many years ago, fridges were unknown. This soup is very thick and we reckon it's best served in a bowl as a dip with bread sticks.
Farm workers in the Granada area of Spain popularised it because it is such a thirst-quenching drink. The women would prepare the cool soup 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!
To garnish use any combination of grapes, figs, parsley and chives
Taste the soup and add more salt 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.