White Gazpacho

This recipe is from the lovely and very knowledgeable Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall. It is simple, elegant and delicious. He says “It’s really worth the trouble of buying unblanched almonds and peeling them yourself. It’s not such an awful job, and the flavour is far better.”   If you prefer, finish the soup with little slices of melon or crisp apple instead of the grapes.

White gazpacho

Ingredients serves 6

140g almonds, unblanched are much better if possible
170g good white bread, stale and trimmed of its crust
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
About 220ml extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 tbsp sherry vinegar
Green grapes, to garnish

How to prepare

First, blanch the almonds by dropping them into a pan of boiling water and simmering for about 30 seconds, and certainly no more than a minute. Drain, refresh under the cold tap, then peel by squeezing between your thumb and forefinger.

The skins pop off really easily

Soak the bread in just enough cold water to cover for around 10 minutes. While it’s soaking, put the garlic and almonds in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the bread, drained of the water, and about half a teaspoon of salt, and blitz until smooth. Gradually trickle in the oil through the feed tube until the soup is blended, then add the vinegar. Add a little more salt or vinegar to taste.

For a very fine texture – which I think is preferable – press through a sieve into a container, adding as much water as is necessary to get a smooth double cream type consistency. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Serve in chilled bowls with halved grapes, little slices of melon or crisp apple slices (or all three!) floating on the top.