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White Almond Soup (Ajoblanco)

What you need: 

250 g (8 oz) raw almonds
2 cloves garlic (to taste)
150 g (6 oz) day-old bread
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 litre (1 quart) very cold water
salt to taste
rose petals (optional)

What you do: 

If necessary, blanch almonds for 2 minutes in boiling water to remove the brown outer skin.
Soak bread in a small amount of water.
Grind almonds, bread, garlic and salt in blender, food processor or indeed in a mortar and pestle. At the same time gradually add the oil in a fine stream until smooth.
Add vinegar and blend in. Gradually add water. Chill until ready to serve.
Float a clean, fresh rose petal on each bowl of soup when serving.
This is a summer alternative to gazpacho, very refreshing!

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
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I have been dying to make this recipe for a while and I finally tried it over the weekend.

First, it is super easy to make, especially if you have a good blender.  It also has to be served very cold for the best flavor.

My husband and one of my children enjoyed it and thought it was very good.  Two children rejected it outright, but no matter there.  I am a bit in the middle, since it has a very distinct, mayonaisy taste.  The sherry vinegar and olive oil give it a taste reminiscent of gazpacho, but the whole thing is white and creamy.

I realized too late (as I was ladling it into cups) that some tiny plain croutons or diced tomatoes and other veggies would have made nice garnishes. We did not use the rose petals!

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