Ajo Blanco (Spanish Chilled Almond and Bread Soup)

Due to the hot climate, Spain has many recipes for chilled soups. Ajoblanco (or Ajo blanco) one is from the southern Andalucia and a great way to use up stale bread, and quite filling. It is more traditional to garnish it with grapes or melon, but I used some pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika) instead. The smokiness works very well with the soup, and the red color is a nice contrast. To give the soup more flavor, I lightly toasted the almonds, and used a relatively large amount of almonds. For a cheaper (and probably more traditional) version, use more bread and less almonds.

Ingredients

For 6 servings

250 grams (2 cups) blanched almonds

250 grams (9 oz) stale bread

750 ml (3 cups) cold water

1 clove garlic

sherry vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

salt

smoked paprika, for garnish, optional

white grapes, for garnish, optional

diced melon, for garnish, optional

Instructions

For more flavor, toast the almonds in the oven at 180C/350F…

…until they are lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Allow the almonds to cool after toasting.

Meanwhile, remove the crust from the bread…

…and chop the bread.

Put the almonds in a powerful blender (I used a Vitamix) and cover them with cold water.

Blend until smooth.

Now add sherry vinegar to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon)…

…and extra virgin olive oil to taste (again about 1 tablespoon), as well as salt (about 1/2 teaspoon to start).

Add the bread as well, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, vinegar, and olive oil, if needed.

Chill the ajoblanco in the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least a couple of hours.

Serve in small portions (it is very filling), garnished with grapes, melon, or pimentón.

Flashback

DSC01343

Chicken skewers with peanut sauce are a Dutch/Indonesian dish that is very popular in the Netherlands under the name of chicken satay. For my version I make the sauce from scratch, which has great flavor.

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9 thoughts on “Ajo Blanco (Spanish Chilled Almond and Bread Soup)

  1. Good! Love cold soups and we are into our spring without having had a winter! Have made this often ‘without a name’ . . . . love the proportion of almonds . . . am surprised you in Holland produce ‘such’ bread to get semi-stale . . . like it so smooth . . . shall copy . . .

    Liked by 1 person

      1. *smile* Just think very highly of Dutch cooking and this looks like the ‘awful’ white sliced ‘pap’ we can buy at our everyday supermarkets: thought the Dutch would make and buy more wholegrain, rye, black, sweet-sour, seeded etc . . . .should not say that: know that many in this world would be grateful . . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Spanish use a lot of almonds to thicken and flavour, particularly in savoury recipes. We love Romesco sauce so I am certain we would love this refreshing dish. Toasting the almonds sounds like a great idea. We love smoked paprika, what a beautiful garnish.

    Liked by 1 person

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