Ajo Blanco or White Gazpacho

This is a Spanish dish with Moorish influences. There are probably many similar recipes, I don’t claim it to be unique – but the story behind it is unusual. (the origin of this image is a series of sixteen recipe postcards I drew many years ago)

recipe for ago blanco or white gazpacho

I was in Córdoba in Spain for a few days (for work and many years ago) and staying at a five star hotel (not at my expense). Being by myself I wanted to make my evening meals more interesting, so chose things from the menu when I had no idea as to what they were. This was where I first ate Ajo Blanco.

IT came, looked nice and with my first spoonful was pretty sure that there was a fly in my soup (not the start of that joke). I edged it onto my spoon and put the half chewed beast on the side of the plate.

Before calling a waiter I thought I’d stir the soup up make sure there were no more. There were about a dozen of them. That’s when I realised it was a half chewed raisin. The soup was fabulous and the raisins gave it that note of sweetness against the drier flavours of garlic and almonds.

I always buy ground almonds now. They come much finer than I can grind them and give a less ‘grainy’ finish to the soup.