White Grape Gazpacho with Ajo Blanco Cream

13 Aug

This is a fusion of two of the most well-known Spanish summer soups: Gazpacho and Ajo Blanco. Gazpacho is traditionally a tomato based chilled vegetable soup and Ajo Blanco is a white version, also served chilled, made with almonds, garlic and olive oil.

They have their roots in southern Andalucia from around Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga and they are both believed to have originated with the Moors.

I was looking for white grape recipes because I walk by these bunches of Moscatel grapes every morning watching them grow sweeter and darker with the heat of the sun.

I found a recipe for White Grape Gazpacho which I really liked the idea of. I have to admit that I am not all that fond of cold soup, in fact I never eat it. I realise that this is sacrilege coming from the birthplace of Gazpacho but I can’t help it, I’ve tried and I’m just not feeling it. I don’t like olives either, I know, por dios!

For some strange reason the fact that it was a cold soup with fruit, rather than vegetables, made it more appealing to me. It may have been to do with the soaring temperatures and the inability to think about eating anything even the slightest bit warm. Whatever the explanation, I was happy to try it.

I’m so glad I did, this is a really refreshing soup. It has to be really cold though, I mean ice-cold, and you have to eat it quickly before it starts to get warm.

The Ajo Blanco cream came to me because I thought it needed a swirl of something on top. You could use creme fraiche but it’s a bit French and I saw Rick Stein making (well he was actually watching someone else making) Ajo Blanco on his new series, A Taste of Spain. The traditional garnish is some Moscatel grapes. So I decided to turn the tables and use Ajo Blanco as my garnish on the White Grape Gazpacho. The two work so well together.

This would make a really elegant summer starter/appetizer for entertaining. It looks impressive but is surprisingly easy. Just chill and serve.

White Grape Gazpacho with Ajo Blanco Cream

Serves 2-3, vegan, gluten-free. Adapted from Honey Flow Farm & Spain Recipes

For the White Grape Gazpacho:

  • 350 gr white grapes (moscatel would be lovely, deseeded) I used seedless. Plus extra for garnish, halved
  • 10/12 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • a small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber (1 Spanish pepino) peeled and diced
  • 2 or 3 spring onions (1 small cebolleta), finely chopped
  • 220 ml (1 cup) veg stock
  • 220 ml (1 cup) iced water (I use 3 ice cubes crushed, and water)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix all the ingredients apart from the stock and water together in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Remove three-quarters of the mix to a food processor, pulse a few times then add the stock and iced water and process until it liquid but still with some texture. Then add in the rest of the ingredients from the bowl and pulse once more. Taste for seasoning and chill for at least 2 hours. Put your serving bowls in the freezer to chill too.

For the Ajo Blanco Cream:

  • 75 gr (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgen olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 50-75 ml (1/2-3/4 cup) cold water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • flaked almonds, toasted in a dry pan for garnish

Put the ground almonds, garlic and sherry vinegar in a food processor and blend. Then add the olive oil and blend to a smooth paste. Add the water, a bit at a time until you reach the consistency of thick pouring cream. Season with the salt, taste, cover and chill for 2 hours.

To serve, ladle the cold Grape Gazpacho soup into the frozen bowls and top with a generous swirl of the Ajo Blanco cream. Top with a few halved grapes and some of the toasted flaked almonds.

Buen Provecho!

Things That Made Me Smile Today……

A lone goat wandering down the middle of the road. We stopped the car to say hello, she was very friendly!

Rufus looking very serious, “Stop taking pictures of me!”

Have a great weekend,

30 Responses to “White Grape Gazpacho with Ajo Blanco Cream”

  1. thefooddoctor August 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    For some reason I too can’t wrap my head around cold soup
    Though I have to say that your soup looks so good that I might actually give it a go
    Thank you for sharing

  2. chicaandaluza August 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Oh my god (as my 15 year old god daughter would say!) – this looks so good. I HATE ajo blanco…have tried to like it and Big Man is perplexed as I would chew garlic cloves like chewing gum…but it does nothing for me. But this….well, I am going to have to give this a go. Probably tomorrow as we have an obscene amount of Moscatel grapes in our huerto which we have already started drying for pasas. Can you tell I´m excited by this?! PS. Your dog is sooooo gorgeous (Rufus?). Would happily dog sit him any time!

    • foodblogandthedog August 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      I know what you mean, I think the swirl of ajoblanco is gorgeous on this dish but there is no way I could eat a whole bowl of it!! I thought of you and your moscatels when I did it, hope you like it. PS Dog sitting, be careful what you wish for!!

  3. Maris (in Good Taste) August 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Looks like a nice refreshing change.

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Yeah, a Rufus picture. I would love to take your morning walk one day, sounds so idyllic. I love visiting because even the names of your dishes sound wonderful. This is no exception. Just a lovely dish.

  5. foodblogandthedog August 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Just for you!!

  6. Alli August 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    This look lovely and refreshing, I will bookmark it for summer! Funny we had almond and fennel soup at a friends last week but I didn’t know what it was called to remake it but Ajo Blanco will give me that starting point, thanks.

  7. tiffany August 14, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    This sounds so tasty! And I love the almonds for texture!

  8. Isabelle @ Crumb August 14, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    This looks so fantastically refreshing! I recently made a similar gaspacho recipe with mangoes, but this grape version looks even better, especially with that drizzle of ajo blanco. Must give this a try with the pile of cucumbers I just bought at the market.

  9. The Chef Doc August 14, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Ooh… this is a twist on gazpacho. I like it🙂

  10. Stewart August 14, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Natalie this looks fab so thanks it will be tried very soon. Congratulations on your site. The passion you have for food stands out and the recipes and presentation look so good. You make thinsg clear and the photos well magic. Thanks so much.
    Stewart x

  11. Clarkie @ Beloved Green August 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    I dream of living in a place that can grow grapes, ours are sad imitations around here. It looks lovely.

  12. jacquelincangro August 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    This looks delicious. I wouldn’t have thought about making a soup with grapes. But I’m going to give it a whirl. I’m making the tomato and garlic salad today as the farmer’s market is overflowing with delicious tomatoes right now.
    A big woof to Rufus!

    • foodblogandthedog August 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Great! Hope you enjoy the salad as much as we did. I used the leftovers as a base for a pasta sauce the next day too, which was also delicious!

  13. Tammy August 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I believe this shall find it’s way into my kitchen today. I’m living on cold soups this month and looking for inspiration. Your photos are amazing.

  14. thewonderingchef August 14, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    I love gazpacho! Also i never heard of the grape version, but it sound interesting enough for me to try! Thank u for the idea:)

  15. Savorique August 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    This fresh gazpacho is so very welcome during the warm summer months! Thanks for sharing this creative recipe. Your ajo blanco cream has such a fine recipe too.

  16. Liz August 15, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Gorgeous gazpacho! And I love Rufus (that was the name of our childhood dog :)).

  17. happywhennothungry August 15, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    This looks delicious! Such interesting flavors too!

  18. offallytasty August 15, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    Ok, wow. This looks so so good! I’m a cold soup lover and absolutely adore sweet/savory dishes. I’m trying this soon!

  19. tony ward August 15, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    This is a stunning combination princess, coupled with a glass of something crisp and dry…..perfection. Poor Rufus looks like he needs a big black hat and a veil, bless him !!

    xx

  20. Aimee@clevermuffin August 15, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    What an amazing mixture of flavours you have going on here, was the soup sweetish in the end then? Makes me want to branch out and get a bit braver with mixing my sweets and savouries a bit more. Sigh, and you’ve made me want to go back to Spain…

  21. Nami | Just One Cookbook August 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Natalie, I love everything about this recipe. First your beautiful cover photo took my attention (I love your blue bowl and napkin), and as I read… I fell in love with the recipes! What a beautiful fusion and I love how it sounds (as I’ve never tried both). I’m so curious to taste this soup and I do love cold soup!

  22. Carolyn August 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Unlike you, I love traditional gazpacho, but I’d still love to try this, it sounds so interesting!

  23. Kate Abbott - Clifton Kitchen August 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Some food for thought for the grape season here in the Cape. Another nice post and a good addition to your blog.

    Take care

  24. thedailydish August 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    This looks so light, healthy and delicious! Once are grapes ripen, a must try!

  25. thedailydish August 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    *our* – duh!😉

  26. Marjorie Martin-Barker August 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Hello Natalie,
    I have just discovered your wonderful blog, thanks to my friend Joan who is Jim’s “best friend”. You may have heard of me as they often come and stay with me in Paris.
    I love cooking and trying out new recipes so I will certainly try some of yours. I also love taking photographs especially of flowers and animals so I got a lot of pleasure looking at your great pictures..

    Glad to have “met” you!

    Madge

    • foodblogandthedog August 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      Nice to “meet” to you too, yes I’ve heard all about you from Jim. Joan tells me that am the No. 2 receiver of numerous newspaper clippings and books, you being the first, and that once he starts you can’t keep up!! I love it though, I’ve never had so much mail!! Glad you like the blog & the pictures, a bientot!

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