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Chilled Spanish White Gazpacho from 'Flour, Too'

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[Photograph: Michael Harlan Turkell]

I assume most of us are well versed in the powers of a good gazpacho recipe. Perfect for the hot summer months, this cold soup requires little more than a good blender and some patience during its chilling time. But it doesn't take many bowls of the tomato version to grow tired of slurping enriched vegetable juice.

Enter white gazpacho. The Spanish blend of almonds and green grapes is an enlivening break from tomato. This recipe, from Joanne Chang's new cookbook Flour, Too, is a prime example—the fruit and nuts combine with crisp English cucumbers, bright cilantro, and a one-two punch of lime juice and sherry vinegar. Good extra-virgin olive oil adds richness, body, and a shimmering garnish to the finished dish.

Why I picked this recipe: Gazpacho is great; an alternative to tomato is even better.

What worked: The combination of tangy green grapes, rich almonds, and pleasantly grassy cucumber made for a refreshing, lively soup.

What didn't: I had to puree the soup in four batches. My 7-cup food processor was no match for the bountiful produce.

Suggested tweaks: As written, this soup is boldly flavored and best served in smallish (appetizer-sized) quantities. If you want a subtler gazpacho, increase the proportion of cucumbers to the rest of the dish or back off a little on the vinegar.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Flour, Too to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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