Are you looking for a cold summer starter or soup? Then you should definitely try out this creamy Spanish cold almond soup with sweet grapes! It contains bread, garlic and almonds… In Spain it goes by the name of ‘ajo blanco’.
And we love it!
Well I finally found the time to make this cold almond soup then.
Something I was highly looking forward to! It’s been a while now since we visited lovely Sevilla in Spain. Our favorite restaurant there was Bar Europa: a must for foodies!
Spanish Cold Almond Soup (Ajo Blanco)
We discovered quite a lot of unique and interesting Spanish dishes there.
One of them was a famous soup called ’salmorejo’, a cold tomato soup with vinegar, ham and crumbled hard-boiled eggs.
What attracts me so much in that recipe is the use of soaked bread to give the soup its typical thick silky texture.
And so does this next cold soup!
Almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil…
A tantalizing Andalusian appetizer I can not get enough of, called ajo blanco. This soup is normally garnished with white grapes or chopped green apple.
I have even seen it with fresh figs.
You can also add a few drops of balsamic vinegar or olive oil to garnish the soup. Serve this one in glasses or deep plates.
How To Peel Almonds
Can you only find unpeeled almonds?
Then here is how to peel them fast: blanch the almonds in hot water for about 25 to 30 seconds. Don’t blanch the almond too long or they will lose their delicate flavor. Then strain them and refresh them under cold running tap water.
Then peel them by putting the almond between your thumb and index finger and press hard while moving your thumb up and your index finger down.
The brown skin should burst and the white almond should pop out.
What I do then is let the almonds dry for a few hours (I usually do this when I am making the ajo blanco the day after).
If you need the almonds immediately, then I prefer to roast the almonds quickly in a dry pan for a few minutes until the excess water has vaporised and the almonds are a little golden.
Then add them to the blender together with the garlic and start your recipe.
I am sure you will love this creamy Spanish cold almond soup with sweet grapes! Bread, garlic and almonds…
What could possibly go wrong?
Enjoy this ajo blanco!
Easy Spanish Cold Almond Soup Recipe
A creamy Spanish cold almond soup with grapes that contains bread, garlic and almonds... also known as 'ajo blanco'.
- 3,5 oz almonds (100 g), peeled and crushed
- 3,5 oz stale white bread (100 g)
- 1 small garlic clove chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil (60 ml)
- ¾ cup water (180 ml), cold
- a handful white grapes
Soak the bread in a little water for 2 minutes and squeeze it out well. Then transfer the crushed almonds and chopped garlic to a blender.
Blend a few times until you get a fine almond crumble. Then add the bread and season with a little pinch of pepper and salt.
Blend again into a wet almond mixture. Then gradually add the olive oil and cold water. Blend well.
Then check the seasoning and add extra pepper and salt to taste if necessary. You should end up with a very silky smooth, quite runny white almond soup. Then pour it through a sieve over a large bowl or saucepan.
Stir until you end up with a white bread pulp. Discard it. Chill the ajo blanco in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Then pour the soup in deep plates or bowls and finish with some grapes and a drizzle of olive oil.
Who invented the Spanish cold almond soup ajo blanco?
The exact origins of ajo blanco, the Spanish cold almond soup, are not definitively documented, but it is believed to have originated in the Andalusian region of Spain.
It is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed for centuries in this area. Ajo blanco typically consists of ingredients like almonds, bread, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and sometimes grapes.
It is a refreshing and flavorful dish, especially well-suited for hot weather. While the specific inventor is unknown, ajo blanco has become a beloved part of Spanish cuisine and culture.
Besides ajo blanco, other cold soups are also popular in Spain such as gazpacho and salmorejo.
What is your favorite Spanish cold soup?
What versions of the Spanish ajo blanco soup are there?
Ajo blanco, the traditional Spanish cold almond soup, displays a range of variations that reflect regional and creative influences.
Originating from Andalusia, the classic recipe features a blend of almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil, and water. However, adaptations abound. Ajo blanco with grapes introduces a fruity sweetness, while Malaga’s version might include green grapes for added texture.
Incorporating yogurt yields a creamy tang, and the addition of mint or cucumber infuses a refreshing twist. Savory renditions introduce vegetables like cucumbers and bell peppers, while melding ajo blanco with gazpacho combines two iconic Spanish cold soups.
These variations showcase the soup’s adaptability and its ability to embrace both tradition and inventive flavors.
Can I make ajo blanco with other nuts besides almonds?
Certainly, you can explore making this Spanish cold almond soup with alternative nuts.
Embracing the essence of culinary experimentation, nuts like cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts can serve as intriguing substitutes. Each nut introduces a distinct flavor and texture, influencing the soup’s character.
Cashews lend a creamy sweetness, while walnuts contribute a rich earthiness and a slight bitterness. Pine nuts offer delicacy, and hazelnuts bring a unique nuttiness. Macadamia nuts, with their buttery quality, can create an entirely new dimension.
As you reimagine this Spanish cold almond soup, consider the interplay between the chosen nut and the soup’s traditional ingredients to craft a fresh and delightful culinary experience.
What are the benefits of eating cold soups?
Eating cold soups can offer a refreshing and nutritious option, especially when it is very hot.
These soups, often rich in vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables and fruits, provide hydration while delivering essential nutrients.
Cold soups can also aid in digestion and promote satiety, as they are typically fiber-rich and low in unhealthy fats. Their chilled nature can help cool down the body and stimulate appetite, making them a satisfying and healthy choice for a well-rounded meal.
Are almonds nutritious?
Yes, almonds are highly nutritious.
They are a good source of healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats, which can help promote heart health. Almonds are also rich in protein, fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin E and some B vitamins), and minerals (such as magnesium and potassium).
Additionally, they are packed with antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. Incorporating almonds into your diet can contribute to various health benefits, including supporting brain function, aiding in weight management, and improving overall nutrient intake.
However, it is important to consume them in moderation because almonds are very high in calories.