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Seriously Simple: Enjoy this yummy alternative to classic gazpacho

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

Gazpacho usually means a tomato-based soup with bread and cucumbers. In Spain there is an offshoot of the tomatoey-garlic soup called Salmorejo, which uses plenty of olive oil to emulsify it all together.

Tasty, but richer, Salmorajo can be found in Cordoba, Spain, where the summers are unbearably hot. The locals keep this refrigerated soup at the ready for a satisfying and cool meal. In the same way that Spanish white gazpacho features cucumbers and grapes, this white gazpacho reinterprets that classic Spanish soup by adding yogurt, Marcona almonds and fresh green herbs, which lends some textural interest. Make sure to use Spanish sherry vinegar and Marcona almonds for their distinctive rich flavor, if available.

The slightly sweet green grapes and the vibrant green European cucumber offer a pale creamy green color to the soup. I like to garnish soups with ingredients that are already in the soup; the grapes and almonds along with the green herbs offer an enticing finish to the soup here.

If you are making this up ahead, make sure to add the almonds just before serving so they don’t soften. Also, season to taste after it is refrigerated.

Guests will be happily surprised with this take on gazpacho for its cool and refreshing affect as the days get hotter. I might serve this with a charcuterie platter with sliced meats and cheeses of your choice and a variety of breads for a small lunchtime gathering, or as a prelude to dinner. It is the perfect beginning for paella or any grilled fish or poultry.

White Gazpacho

Serves 6

2 medium garlic cloves, ends discarded

1 European cucumber, halved lengthwise and seeded

1 1/4 cup green grapes

2 slices white bread, crusts removed, and cut into 2 inch-pieces

1 1/2 cups low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted and salted Spanish Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. In a food processor, mince the garlic. Cut the cucumber in half, then chop one half into chunks and add them to the food processor, along with the 1 cup of the grapes. Process for about 20 seconds, or until pureed. Add the bread and puree again.

2. Combine the yogurt and broth in a medium bowl. Add the pureed cucumber mixture, olive oil, vinegar, 1 tablespoon each parsley and chives, and 1/2 cup of the almonds. Mix until well combined.

3. Chop the remaining half cucumber into small dice and add to the soup mixture. Add the cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

4. To make the garnishes, cut the remaining 1/4 cup of grapes in half and transfer to a small bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped almonds and toss with the grapes

5. To serve, pour the gazpacho into individual small soup bowls and garnish with the grape and almond mixture and a sprinkling of remaining parsley, and serve immediately.

Advance preparation: This may be made ahead through Step 3, covered and refrigerated one day ahead of serving.

(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)

©2024 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



 

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