Perfect for a hot summer day, white almond gazpacho has the mellow flavor of almonds. Garnish with grapes or try gooseberries for a sweet, tart flavor.
Although almonds in a soup may seem unusual, the result is delicious. The nuts provide mellow flavor and also act as an emulsifier. Thick, rich, and quite garlicky, white gazpacho is often enjoyed at the midday meal on hot summer days in Spain, followed by a nice long siesta. The traditional garnish is peeled grapes, but when I can find gooseberries, I use them. Sweet and tart, with a flavor slightly reminiscent of raspberries, gooseberries show up in farmers’ markets and some specialty markets in midsummer. Although I like the soup so thick you can stand a spoon up in it, you can add extra ice water to thin it to your liking.–Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox
White Almond Gazpacho
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Two 1/2-inch-thick slices stale bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 cups)
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 cup gooseberries or peeled green or red grapes (optional)
- Finely chop almonds and garlic in a blender.
- With motor running, slowly add 1 cup water, sherry vinegar, and salt, blending to incorporate. Add bread in 2 batches, blending well (some of the bread will not be entirely incorporated until the next step; this is okay).
- With motor running, slowly add 1/2 cup oil, followed by remaining 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, followed by remaining 1/2 cup oil.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Serve in individual bowls, sprinkled with gooseberries, if using, and drizzled with oil.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
A very pleasant surprise indeed. My wife and I compete with each other over our various gazpacho recipes—of the red tomato variety. This white gazpacho was, as a result, a first for us. It turned out quite smooth, a little on the thick side and full of complex tastes—the almonds, garlic, sherry vinegar, and the olive oil. In particular, I liked the vinegar taste. As an option at the end, I selected green seedless grapes, but not peeled. Trying to buy or peel grapes is a non-starter for me.
This white almond gazpacho is a very interesting and surprisingly good soup! I had my doubts when I read the recipe. The blend of flavors was sweet, salty, and tart while the texture was creamy but light and refreshing. It kept me taking one spoonful after another to try and capture everything. The garlic was strong but didn’t overpower any of the other flavors in the soup.
Originally published November 18, 2008