Chilled almond soup

Chilled almond soup

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
4

Known as ajo blanco in Spain, this beautiful soup is surprisingly punchy and satisfying. I created this version for an event we shared with the Slow Food movement at Petersham in the summer of 2005, celebrating the use of flowers in the cooking of the Levant. It was, for me, a perfect day!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g really good quality day-old bread
225g shelled almonds
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
220ml extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
375ml ice-cold water

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 perfectly ripe fig
1 tablespoon rose syrup, to drizzle
or 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, (optional)

Method

  1. Remove the crust from the bread, then cut into cubes and place in a bowl. Add cold water to cover and allow to soak for 2–3 minutes, then squeeze out excess water and set aside.
  2. Drop the almonds into a pan of boiling water and leave for a minute or two, then remove. When cool enough to handle, slip the nuts out of their skins.
  3. Put the garlic, almonds, bread, sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Then, with the motor running, slowly pour in the ice-cold water until the soup is the thickness of double cream. The consistency is very important – too thick and it would feel cloying, too thin and it would be unsubstantial. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour or longer, until really well chilled.
  4. Ladle the soup into soup plates. Cut the fig into thin wedges and lay two of these in the centre of each bowl. Drizzle with a tiny amount of rose hip syrup, or extra virgin olive oil if you prefer. I like to scatter over some finely chopped parsley to serve.
Tags:
seasonal
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