Because it is made with bread, olive oil and garlic and served cold, Ajo Blanco falls into the gazpacho family of chilled Spanish soups. In addition, it contains almonds and is topped with green grapes making this refreshing soup distinctly different from it’s better known, tomato based gazpacho or salmorejo. This soup is particular popular in sunny Andalucía, in particular the towns of Granada and Málaga and the region of Extremadura. This is not surprising because this area is very well known for the harvest of olives and almonds and the production of high quality olive oil, which is an essential ingredient for any gazpacho.
6 ounces rustic bread, crust removed and broken into chunks (day old bread is ideal)
1 liter cold water
6 ounces blanched almonds
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus two tablespoons
¼ cup sherry vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 green grapes, halved
Soak the bread in the cold water for about half an hour. Remove the soaked bread and place in the blender. Set the soaking water aside for later.
Places the almonds, garlic, olive oil and sherry vinegar in the blender and process until smooth. At this point it will be very thick. Add the reserved water to thin it out. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least three hours.
When ready to serve, pour in bowls and decorate each with three half grapes and drizzle some olive oil on the top.