The Gourmet Gals are at it again! This group of gourmands is always in search of the best recipes and pairings for The Olive Press Olive Oil and wine from both Jacuzzi Family Vineyards and Cline Cellars. This time it's in the form of White Gazpacho:
Before tomatoes were brought to Spain from America, this creamy white gazpacho, based on Spain's plentiful almonds, was standard summer far. This gazpacho hails from the Andalusian region.
2 cups day-old country-style bread or fresh bread, loosely packed, torn into 1-inch pieces (I used fresh Ciabatta)
6 ¾ cups water, divided use
1 Tbsp. garlic, coarsely chopped
2 cups Marcona almonds (blanched almonds can be substituted)
2 ½ Tsp. salt, divided
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup Arbequina EVOO
Green grapes, quartered, for garnish
Almonds, sliced, toasted, for garnish
Soak the day-old bread in 1 1/3 cups water for 10 minutes. If using fresh bread, there is no need to soak it.
Process the garlic and almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add the bread and any soaking liquid (or the fresh bread), 2 Tsp. salt; vinegar and EVOO. Blend until smooth.
Transfer to a nonreactive bowl and stir in 3 1/3 cups water (4 1/3 cups if using fresh bread). Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours, or until well chilled.
Stir the soup well. Adjust seasonings. Serve, garnishing with grapes and sliced almonds.
Notes: In step three, I used an emersion blender to mix the water with the almond/bread mixture.
Using only the food processor, the soup will have a bit of a crunchy texture. You can leave as is, or if you want a creamy finish, strain the soup through a fine sieve, or blend it in batches in a blender (my preference).