It’s that time of the year again where all you want is a cold, refreshing, and super-savory soup. If you’re thinking outside of the gazpacho, use Chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s recipe for Ajo Bianco – made from almonds, garlic, grape juice, and panko – for the perfect summertime pick-me-up.
YIELD: 3 QUART
1 quart whole blanched almonds
1 quart cold water
½ quart panko, soaked in just enough water to make it swollen and flabby and wet
7 garlic cloves
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup Hojiblanca olive oil
salt to taste
1 full pint homemade grape juice (puree green grapes in the blender and strain through a sieve)
1. In the Vita-Prep, grind the garlic and almonds with the cold water. Add vinegar and salt to taste.
2. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until incorporated.
3. Add the soaked panko and blend to creamy, white and smooth.
4. On very low speed, stir in the grape juice. Taste the soup. Add vinegar, salt, more garlic or olive oil as needed. Keep it balanced and refreshing.
5. Serve cold, in glass tumblers from the freezer, each set in a coffee saucer.
6. Garnish with sliced green grapes and Hojiblanca olive oil – you can do beads or drizzle. I am fine either way.
Taste for seasoning every day, every time you plate it – I have been amazed at how the bread continues to dumb down the soup long past what I would have anticipated.