Thanks to Food and Wine for this refreshing chilled soup recipe. Here’s the link to the original. I pretty much followed it exactly, except I substituted 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar, as there was no sherry vinegar at the store. Also, I had a hard time straining out the solids, so I didn’t do much more than get a few colanders dirty before giving up on straining altogether. 

This is not the kind of soup to make into a meal. Instead, it would be perfect at the very start of dinner or between courses as a sort of palate cleanser (thanks to my husband for that idea). The recipe says it makes 6 servings, but I think this would make more like 8-10 smaller cups. In fact, this would be the perfect thing to use the 12 (!) espresso cups that I registered for 6 years ago, since I’m not usually making 12 cups of espresso at a time. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stale, crustless 1/2-inch white country bread cubes
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 1/4 cups blanched sliced almonds (I used slivered)
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber (This was one large cucumber for me)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used a small amount of red wine vinegar instead)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Shredded mint leaves, for garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the grape juice for 5 minutes, pressing to soften.
  2. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven for 6 minutes, until lightly golden; let cool. Transfer 1 cup of the almonds to a blender. Add the bread, cucumber, apple, grapes, garlic, vinegar and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Puree until smooth. Strain the soup through into a bowl, pressing on the solids.(or make a mess with colanders in your kitchen). Whisk in the buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the gazpacho into cups and garnish with the mint and remaining 1/4 cup of almonds. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
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