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White gazpacho is actually the original one. Wonderfully refreshing - perfect for hot summer's days!
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In addition to gazpacho and salmorejo there's yet another chilled soup in Spain: the Malagan regional specialty ajo blanco, also known as the white gazpacho.
The chilled soups are so wonderfully refreshing and perfect for the late summer as Andalusia is swept over by the hot wind we get from Africa that make the temperature soar to over 40 c.
Air is so dry and hot and the wind blows with such intensity even at night it's like walking in a hairdryer.
Having your own pool is therefore not a luxury - it is a human rights issue!
The ingredients for ajo blanco are rather simple: bread, water, garlic and almonds.
Some recipes, such as mine, also use grapes which make the soup even more refreshing and give it more flavour and acidity than cucumber, which is another often used ingredient.
Green apple would really give this extra something, but owing to its consistency, you'd then have to add more liquid.
Traditionally this too is made with that local sherry vinegar, but I prefer white wine vinegar. Cider vinegar would be another good one.
This white version is actually the original gazpacho - the better known red one didn't see the daylight until the Conquistadors brought tomato in Spain.
According to some theories this is the stuff of "already the ancient Romans..." - legends, going back to the Roman way of dunking bread in oil.
Some theories state this has its roots in the Moorish times and in the bread-based soups Arab kitchen.
Who can tell - but one thing I can tell is that I actually prefer this over its red cousin.
Ajo Blanco -white gazpacho
200 g almonds, soaked overnight (don't discard the water!)
3 cloves of garlic
100 g white bread, crust removed (gluten-free if needed)
1 dl olive oil
1/2 dl white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegarn or sherry vinegar)
225 g green, seedless grapes
5 dl water from aoaking the almonds
1/2 tsp salt
To serve: olive oil, toasted almond flakes, grape slices, chopped chives
Drain the almonds. Reserve the liquid and use it to dilute the soup.
Measure the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.
For a velvety smooth consistency, pass the soup through a sieve.
Check the taste and add more salt and/or vinegar if needed. Chill for a couple of hours and serve.