This is another Gordon Ramsay recipe. As will no doubt be evident throughout this blog, most of the recipes I have tried have come from him as I really admire the understanding of food he conveys and the balance with which his dishes are constructed. This one comes from “Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen” and though it is not his highest rated book, there are some interesting recipes in there. In the Spanish section Gordon gives us this recipe which he calls “a Moorish take on gazpacho, in which blanched almonds, garlic, and white bread take the place of fresh tomatoes and vegetables.” My exposure to traditional gazpachos is limited to a few restaurants, and I gather they can’t compare to what I would find in an authentic Spanish home. This recipe however, is one of my favorites. It’s completely different to anything I’ve had previously. Balance is once again what makes the dish stand out; the sweetness of the grapes, the richness of the olive oil and almonds, the creaminess of the soup, and the kick of the garlic.
The recipe is as follows:
INGREDIENTS (4 servings)
· 200g rustic white bread
· 150g blanched almonds
· 1 large garlic clove
· ¾ cup (200ml) extra virgin olive oil
· 1½-2tbsp sherry vinegar (or substitute any vinegar to cut the richness)
· 1½ -1¾ cup (350ml-400ml) ice-cold water
· 150-200g white seedless grapes (halved)
· 2tbsp slivered/toasted almonds and an ice cube (per serving)
· Remove crust, cube, cover the white bread with cold water (just enough water so it’s covered), and let soak for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water from the bread.
· Put the bread with almonds, garlic, olive oil, and sherry vinegar into a food processor/blender and blend until smooth. With the motor on pour in enough cold water until the soup gets the consistency of heavy cream (if you want it thinner put a little more water but proceed with caution as you want a rich consistency)
· Pour the soup into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled through.
· To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and arrange toasted almonds, halved grapes, and drizzled olive oil as shown in the picture. Add an ice cube if you wish to keep the soup cold.