Besides the world famous gazpacho, sweet almond garlic soup is the cold soup you must try this spring. The name in Spain is Ajo blanco, meaning: white garlic, and the soup is both nourishing and refreshing in the warm weather months.
This soup is typically served in Andalusia, Spain, where summer heat becomes almost unbearable and people resort to mostly cool meals. However, Madrid, where I grew up with my abuelita, was also hot in the summer.
Read Related: Spanish Garlic Shrimp
As the saying goes: Nueve meses de invierno y tres de infierno or Nine winter months followed by three months of hell. Due to the heat, this recipe was one my grandmother resorted to quite often, and which we happily enjoyed, unable to complain that it was too hot to eat.
SWEET ALMOND GARLIC SOUP
Time: 20 min.
½ cup almonds, whole and unsalted
3-4 slices stale or slightly toasted white, crusty bread, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled * (See note.)
4 cups water
5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 TSP salt, plus more to taste
1 cup seedless green grapes for garnish
¼ lb shrimp, cooked, for garnish
- Place bread to soak in 2 cups cold water and set aside.
- Put garlic and almonds in a blender. Blend on pulse until smooth.
- Remove bread from water, squeezing excess liquid gently.
- Add bread to the mixture in the blender, and add 1 teaspoon salt.
- Continue to blend on pulse.
- While blending, drizzle olive oil in a small, steady stream.
- Add vinegar and 2 cups of water.
- Blend until it reaches an emulsified consistency.
- Refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight. Serve in chilled bowls, and garnish with grapes and shrimp.
*Note: Feel free to use less garlic if you want a milder soup.