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.
Reprinted with permission from Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets and Savories by Joanne Chang. Copyright 2013. Published by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- 2 pounds (910 grams) seedless green grapes, stemmed
- 1/2 cup (70 grams) whole blanched almonds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 tablespoons (25 grams) minced fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons good-quality sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 English cucumbers, cut crosswise into 1- to 2-inch (2.5- to 5-cm) pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons for finishing
Working in batches, combine the grapes, almonds, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice, and salt in the blender and pulse until the almonds and garlic are chopped but not too finely. Add the cucumbers and pulse again until the cucumbers are blended. Do not overblend; you want the soup to have some texture. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the olive oil.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill the soup and to allow the flavors blend. (Taste and add more salt as needed.) Ladle into bowls and drizzle each with about 1 teaspoon olive oil before serving. The soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.