Even if you’re not a fan of the traditional, tomato-based gazpacho, I would urge you to give this white version a try. It’s a little milder and more approachable but every bit as delicious and refreshing. It’s an almond based soup and thickened with bread to a creamy consistency. A small amount of garlic, sherry vinegar, and olive oil provide the accents along with a crunchy, sweet topping. Traditionally it’s topped with green grape slices, which is excellent, but I prefer something a little less sweet. So in place of grapes I like to make a relish of melon, radish and red onion. You still get some of the sweetness but with a little extra crunch and zippiness from the onion and radish. Also, I’ve started adding cucumber to the blended soup, which is also not traditional, but I really like the added summery, freshness that it provides. One last thing, be sure to give each bowl a good drizzle of good olive oil before serving. The fruity, bitter oil goes a long way to bringing this white gazpacho together.


Ajo Blanco

Makes about 4 ½ cups

-1 cup blanched Marcona almonds
-½ clove garlic
-2-inch length of cucumber, peeled & seeded
-5-6 slices good quality white bread, crust removed & cubed
-3 cups filtered water
-2 tbsp olive oil + additional
-2 tsp sherry vinegar
-white pepper

-3 tbsp melon, diced
-2 tbsp radish, diced
-1 tbsp red onion, diced

1.    Add first 7 ingredients to a blender (preferably a high speed blender) and blend on high for a minute or so until smooth. Add a pinch of white pepper and salt to taste and blend briefly to combine. Place in a container and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour or until sufficiently cool.

2.    Meanwhile, combine melon, radish and red onion in a separate container and place in the fridge to cool as well.

3.    When you’re ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each with a spoonful of the melon mixture and a drizzle of olive oil.