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White gazpacho

(Karoline Boehm Goodnick)
August 12, 2009

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Serves 4

Gazpacho as most people know it is the Andalusian soup of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and stale bread. This chilled soup also includes a slew of cold vegetable purees, some that omit tomatoes and add almonds. White gazpacho reflects Spain’s ancient Arabic past. These bowls of soup would have been made with a mortar and pestle, but use a blender and give it plenty of time to whir and lots of olive oil, and you’ll get a velvety texture. Let the soup mellow for at least several hours in the refrigerator or overnight for optimal flavor. Add a garnish of sliced almonds and grapes and feel yourself transported to sunny Spain.

SOUP

1 cup crust-free fresh bread cubes
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine the bread and water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes.

2. Add the almonds, cucumber, garlic, grapes, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss well.

3. With the top in place, turn a blender to low speed. Remove the center piece on the blender lid. Begin adding the bread mixture slowly.

4. When it has all been added, turn the blender speed to medium. Continue blending for 5 minutes or until soup is smooth and airy. Taste for seasoning; add more salt and pepper, if you like. Transfer to a plastic container and chill for several hours or overnight.

GARNISH

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup green grapes, cut in half
2 tablespoons unblanched, sliced almonds
1. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls.

2. Garnish with chives, grapes, and sliced almonds. Karoline Boehm Goodnick