Spanish Almond Soup ~ aka ajo blanco, or white gazpacho, is a cool and creamy chilled soup without a speck of dairy ~ it’s wonderfully refreshing and unexpectedly delicious!
This simple almond soup comes from the the south of Spain, where they know a little something about hot summers and heathy seasonal eating. If you were sitting on the terrace of a little cafe on the Andelusian coast on a summer’s night, chardonnay in hand, the Mediterranean lapping at the rocky coast below, the soup in front of you might very well be this ajoblanco, or ‘white gazpacho’.
If you love almond milk I think you’re going to be smitten with this gorgeous soup.
Spanish almond soup is a surprise on so many levels. How about the fact that it’s snowy white and so creamy without a hint of dairy, for one thing? That’s a result of processing almonds with water, just like I do when I make homemade almond milk. Only this time I don’t strain out the nut solids, they become part of the soup.
You can make this soup in a any good high speed blender or food processor, but a Vitamix blender makes it fast and ultra creamy. The Vitamix blends it so completely that there isn’t any grainy texture to the final product, it’s milky and smooth.
The way the soup is thickened is equally surprising…you process in…wait for it… cubes of crustless bread! As the soup chills in the refrigerator it gradually thickens and has a really lovely texture, not heavy or pasty ~ and unless someone told you, you’d never guess there was bread in this soup in a million years.
I hope you’ll give it a try, I was delighted with it, and I think it would make such a nice starter to a summer dinner party. You could serve it in small bowls or even little shooter glasses.
How to garnish Spanish almond soup~
This is such a simple soup that garnishes go a long way. They can add important textural and visual interest. Here are a few ideas…
- chopped fresh green grapes ~ you can also thinly slice them
- diced honeydew melon
- toasted almonds
- fresh mint leaves, dill, or chives
- drizzle of olive oil
I served my soup in delicate vintage glass bowls from the thrift store. Check your local second hand stores for all kinds of unique glassware. You can serve this in stemless wine or old fashioned glasses as well.
Other elegant summer starters to try ~
Spanish Almond Soup
- I cup blanched almonds I used slivered
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 cups cold filtered water
- roughly 1 cup cubed fresh bread crusts removed
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- mint leaves
- toasted almonds
- Put the almonds, garlic, and water into a high speed blender or food processor. Note: A Vitamix blender is ideal for this soup because it will pulverize it completely smooth. If your machine is not as strong you may want to strain your soup through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Start the machine on low, then move to high and puree until it becomes a smooth creamy liquid, this won't take long.
- Add the bread and puree again until smooth.
- Stir in the oil, vinegar, and seasonings to taste. Refrigerate the soup in an airtight container for at least two hours before serving. Give it a stir before ladling into small bowls.