The Hairy Bikers’ White Gazpacho

Gazpacho isn’t only cold tomato soup. This Moorish version is amazing—creamy and fragrant without too strong a hit of garlic. Peeling the grapes really does make a difference so think of Mae West and get to it!

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

200g whole blanched almonds

75g white bread, crusts removed

600ml iced water

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cucumber, peeled and deseeded, 

roughly chopped

75ml olive oil

1-2 tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar

Salt and black or white pepper

To garnish

1 tbsp flaked almonds

24 seedless green grapes, peeled and halved

2 tbsp olive oil

Preparation

1. Put the almonds in a dry frying pan and toast them over a medium heat. Shake the pan regularly and watch it very closely. 

2. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as you can smell the almonds and they are just starting to take on some colour. 

3. Toast the flaked almonds for the garnish in the same way and set them aside.

4. Cover the bread with some of the iced water and soak it for 10 minutes until softened. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.

5. Put the whole almonds in a food processor or a blender. Add the soaked bread and process until the almonds are fairly finely ground. Add the garlic and cucumber and continue to blitz, then drizzle in the rest of the iced water, the oil and half the vinegar. 

6. Taste, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle in a little more vinegar if you think it needs it. The soup should be very smooth but if it seems grainy, push it through a fine sieve. 

7. Transfer it to a bowl or jug, cover and chill for 2 hours.

8. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with peeled grapes, toasted flaked almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.

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