Portuguese White Gazpacho with Crab

This Portuguese white gazpacho with crab isn’t exactly traditional but it is exceptionally tasty. A gazpacho base made with almonds, rustic bread, cucumber, and fennel, gets topped with a lush crab salad that includes port, piri-piri, Portuguese milk mayonnaise, and tender baby greens. Sounds delish, right?

Portuguese white gazpacho with crab salad in a green soup bowl with bowls and flatware in the background.

Crab is a favorite shellfish of the Portuguese, and one of the most famous dishes is santola no carro–a creamy crab salad served in its shell. This gazpacho recipe, from my friend and chef Fausto Airoldi, takes all those flavors and plunks them in the middle of this lesser-known but utterly refreshing soup.–David Leite

Portuguese White Gazpacho with Crab

Portuguese white gazpacho with crab salad in a green soup bowl with bowls and flatware in the background.
This luscious hybrid dish combines Portugal's fave shellfish, crab, with a white gazpacho for a refreshing dish with a little bit of delish richness.
David Leite

Prep 30 mins
Total 30 mins
6 servings
453 kcal
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the The New Portuguese Table cookbook

Want it? Click it.


For the white gazpacho

  • 1 1/2 cups 3/4-inch (18-mm) cubes of day-old rustic white bread crust removed
  • 2/3 cup unsalted blanched whole almonds
  • 1 small fennel bulb stalks and core removed, bulb chopped; reserve a few of the frilly fronds for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 seedless English cucumber peeled and chopped
  • Leaves from 4 oregano sprigs
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crab salad

  • 1 1/2 cups jumbo lump crabmeat picked over and drained well
  • 1/2 small carrot peeled and minced
  • 1/2 stalk celery minced
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or tawny Port
  • 1 teaspoon Piri-Piri Sauce or store-bought hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup plain Maionese de Leite or more if needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups tender baby salad greens (optional)


  • To make the white gazpacho, soak the bread cubes in cold water until softened, about 5 minutes. Squeeze dry with your hands.
  • Toss the almonds into a blender and pulse into a fine powder. Drop in the fennel, onion, cucumber, oregano, and 1 1/2 cups water and buzz on high until liquefied. Add the wet bread, oil, and vinegar and whir again until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Put the blender canister, covered, in the fridge for 3 hours, or up to 6 hours.
  • Meanwhile, toss together the crab, carrot, celery, brandy, and piri-piri sauce in a small bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.
  • When ready to serve, fold the maionese de leite into the crab mixture and season with salt and pepper. If you want it a bit creamier, plop in another tablespoon or so of the maionese.
  • Whir the gazpacho in the blender for a few seconds to froth it again. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and pour it into a pitcher. Make a small bed of greens in the center of chilled bowls, top with the crab, and poke in a bit of fennel frond. Place the bowls in front of your guests and pour the gazpacho around the crab.
Print RecipeBuy the The New Portuguese Table cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 453kcal (23%)Carbohydrates: 38g (13%)Protein: 18g (36%)Fat: 26g (40%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mg (7%)Sodium: 769mg (33%)Potassium: 553mg (16%)Fiber: 6g (25%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 961IU (19%)Vitamin C: 13mg (16%)Calcium: 166mg (17%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Originally published October 11, 2010


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. 5 stars
    This tastes like a brand new spring day when all your dreams are coming true. Like detoxing your soul. Like finding the missing. This recipe thinks your’re great. You should make this probably right now.

  2. This looks like one of the most appealing recipes I’ve seen in a long time! Looking forward to trying it sometime soon. I love ajo blanco (cold garlic and almond soup). and I love basically anything with crab… I’m sure it’ll be amazing!

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish