My Spanish born great grand-mother on my maternal side had a wonderful family recipe for “Ajo Blanco”, or so I am told because alas nobody recorded it and therefore nobody can recall its details… So, to complete my family recipe archives, I can only try to recreate this recipe with voices others than hers… Why does it seem so important to me to do so? Because Ajo Blanco is a bit of an iconic Andalucian soup and because it happens to be at the same time a very healthy and rejuvenating combination of almond meal and garlic. Popular and traditional cuisine often combine the qualities of being at once tasty and healthy and this very ancient recipe proves the point with its elegant simplicity.
I am just back from a long week end in Seville where summer was already warm and dry and the beautiful gardens of the Mudejar palaces where full of the most generous and fragrant blossoms. The photos below were taken inside the Casa de Pilatos in Seville Old quarter. But Seville is full of secret gardens that you can visit or sometimes just glimpse, past a patio of azulejos opening onto the heat scorched street…
- Raw peeled almonds ,200 gr
- Garlic cloves,2
- Olive oil, 70 ml
- Sea salt, to taste
- Bread, 100 gr 70 gr de aceite de oliva virgen extra
- Jerez or wine vinegar, 50ml
- Water, 1L
- Grapes or cucumber chunks to serve
This is a Thermomix adapted recipe but any good blender will do.
Soak the almond and bread in water separately for a few hours, if possible. Remove and do not use this water,
Mix the garlic, salt and almonds for 30 sec at speed 5. Add the chopped bread (no crust) and mix another 15 sec. You should get a sort of thick paste.
Keep at speed 5 and add the olive oil, followed by the vinegar and the water. Mix for 1 min at speed 7 to 8.
Season with a little salt and serve cold with the chopped cucumber or grapes to decorate and give a nice biting texture.
I like to serve this in glasses decorated with a mini skewer with fresh grapes and to sprinkle a few flaked almonds and some fried toast on top.
This is a strengthening, wholesome, cold soup; a godsend in summer and a little miracle of health…
Favourite gardens in Seville:
- Parque Maria Louisa – I had a beautiful morning run there, but you can take a horse carriage to it if you are no runner!
- Los Jardines del Real Alcazar – The beautiful gardens of the moors kings… A treasure!
- Gardens and patios of the Museo de Bellas Artes
- Gardens of Casa de Pilatos – see pictures above.
- And many more!!!