Ajo Blanco: White Gazpacho with Cucumbers and Grapes

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice bowl of soup. Especially if it’s chilled. This white gazpacho is perfect for a warm day.

White gazpacho or Ajo Blanco is a traditional Spanish soup. Ajo = Garlic. Blanco = White. The ingredients may sound a little unusual, but they come together to make a delicious refreshing, creamy soup. My white gazpacho is a mix of cucumbers, green grapes, garlic, almonds and bread. Olive oil, vinegar and lemon season things up. The cucumbers and grapes lend sweetness, while the garlic gives things a kick. The almonds make the soup nutty and creamy, and the bread provides thickening power. I think straining this soup is super important for the texture. Everything should be smooth and homogeneous. Depending on the flavor of your individual ingredients, you can add more or less vinegar or lemon juice. You can even add a dash of sugar or squirt of honey if you think the soup needs it. I’ve made this white gazpacho with both sherry and champagne vinegars, but a different red or white vinegar could also work. Just make it taste good.

Oh and one thing to address. I realize this soup is actually a very pale green. It’s not exactly white. I’ve seen white versions made with just almonds and bread and no cucumbers or grapes. I’ve also seen a little yogurt or creme fraiche added to other recipes, which I’m sure would be delicious as long as you’re cool with dairy. I personally really like this combination and think the pale green color is pretty. That’s just me.

The toppings are almost as important as the soup in my opinion. You always need to add some texture to a creamy soup, otherwise things are just boring! On this soup, I love lots of crunchy croutons, thinly sliced grapes, a drizzle of fruity olive oil and chives for a bite. Chopped cucumbers also make a nice addition.

Oh and did I mention this soup is naturally vegan? I might not make a concerted effort to include vegan recipes on my blog, but I actually eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan foods in my daily life. I mean, my Instagram is loaded with shots of straight up fruits and vegetables, so this soup definitely fits that subsect of recipes. Anyway, I hope you guys like this one. Bon appetit.


White Gazpacho with Cucumbers & Grapes (Ajo Blanco)
 
White Gazpacho or Ajo Blanco is a cold Spanish soup made of cucumbers, green grapes, almonds and garlic. It’s refreshing & creamy, & happens to be vegan!
Author:
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped (~4 cups)
  • 2 cups green grapes, plus 2 tbsp sliced, for garnish
  • 3 cups (3oz) sour dough bread, crust removed, cut into ¾ inch cubes, divided
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp sherry or champagne vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • Chives, chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. Toast nuts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place nuts on a parchment lined sheet tray and toast until golden brown, about 8 minutes, turning half way through. Cool.
  2. Blend and soak: Add cucumbers, grapes and garlic to blender. Blend until pureed. Stir in 1 cup of bread cubes and almonds and allow to soak and soften for about 30 minutes. Blend until as smooth as possible. Stream in 3 tablespoons of oil gradually while blending. Strain through sieve.
  3. Season and chill: Season with vinegar, lemon and salt to taste. Chill in the fridge.
  4. Make croutons: While bread and almonds soak in soup, add remaining 2 cups of bread cubes to a medium sized nonstick pan. Toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Turn pan to medium and slowly brown while crisping up, tossing frequently. Add remaining tablespoon of oil after bread absorbs first portion. Cook until dried out and crispy, adjusting heat as needed, about 15 minutes. Cool.
  5. Serve: Serve soup in bowls garnished with croutons, sliced grapes, chives and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy.

 

Sabrina Russo

My name's Sabrina. Brina for short. I am an assistant to a food photographer and chef, a registered dietitian and full-time foodie. Hope you enjoy my recipes!

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