It might be fall, but there’s still plenty of time to serve a cold soup as your starter! Since I’m still living out in Watermill, surrounded by so many gorgeous farm stands, I can’t help but crave healthy dishes that showcase all of the raw local produce. I’m absolutely in love with this recipe for a chilled white gazpacho. It’s an awesome starter for a dinner party or it can serve as the perfect dish for an easy soup and salad kind of night.
When you hear the word gazpacho, I’m sure your brain jumps to a cold tomato soup with all of those bright summer vegetables. This recipe is the total opposite. It’s so unique and refreshing, and beautiful to look at! With a combination of grapes, almonds, garlic, and cucumbers, this chilled soup has it all. It’s slightly nutty, sweet, refreshing, and decadent all at once. I happened to have nasturtiums in my garden, but you can garnish the gazpacho with almonds, herbs or anything you’d like! You’ll LOVE this soup.
- 2 cups crustless stale bread broke into pieces
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock use vegetable stock for vegetarian version
- 1½ tsp salt or more to taste
- 1 cup slivered blanched almonds must be blanched, the skins are bitter
- 2 cups green seedless grapes sliced in half
- 2 cucumbers peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1-3 cloves garlic lightly sauteed in a bit of olive oil if you prefer not to eat raw garlic
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Toasted slivered almonds and diced cucumber for garnish
- Soak the bread in chicken stock until falling apart.
- Put the almonds, salt and garlic in a high-powered blender (such as Vitamix) and pulse until the almonds are pulverized. Add the soaked bread and any stock that was not absorbed by the bread into the food processor, then add the grapes and cucumbers. Pulse until the mixture is a smooth purée.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and pulse a few seconds to combine. Taste and add the other tablespoon if it needs it – grapes can sometimes be acidic enough to leave out the final tablespoon of vinegar.
- With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until silky smooth. Turn off the motor and taste the gazpacho. Add more salt if needed.
- Chill before serving, garnish with diced cucumber and almonds.
For any kind of silky smooth soup, my secret kitchen tool is always the Vitamix. It’s such a worthwhile investment when you’re deciding which appliances you’ll need for a new kitchen. I use my Vitamix to make everything from soups and dressings to dips and nut milks. If you don’t have one of these, the next best option would be either a Nutribullet or an immersion blender.
The trick to getting such a creamy decadent texture is all in the soaked bread. I make sure to soak my bread in chicken stock (of course home made is always better!) for a half hour or so before blending up all of my ingredients. Another key element to any gazpacho is the acidity, and for this recipe I love using cider vinegar. Everyone’s taste preferences are a little different, so just remember to taste as you go. You can always improvise and add as much or as little of something as you’d like. If I were you, I would make sure to always have a bottle of apple cider vinegar around the house! It’ll always give your sauces that extra tangy kick.