Gwen and I were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Elise's recipe on g-chat recently and I finally made it for a dinner guest last night. I exclaimed "mmmm!!" when I tasted a spoonful straight from the food processor. Easy, delicious, nutritious, cooling...what more could you ask for?
The recipe calls for stale bread because this soup is an excellent use of old bread that is too hard to eat. Sometimes when we buy freshly baked bread we don't eat it all, and the leftovers get dry and hard within days. We keep the bread to make bread crumbs. So, this is what you would typically use. If you don't have any old bread lying around, you can use white bread, with the crusts removed. Use a good quality white bread, such as a French or Italian loaf.
2 cups of crustless stale bread, broken into pieces [half of a baguette worked perfectly and now I will make another batch tomorrow with second half of loaf!]
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup slivered blanched almonds (must be blanched, the skins are bitter)
2 cups green seedless grapes, sliced in half
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1-3 chopped garlic cloves (depending on how garlicky you want the result to be)
2-3 Tbsp sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Chives for garnish
1 Heat the stock until it's steamy. Turn off the heat and add to the stock the broken up pieces of stale bread. Let cool.
2 Put the almonds, salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are pulverized. Add the soaked bread and any stock that was not absorbed by the bread into the food processor, then add the grapes and cucumbers. Pulse until the mixture is a rough purée.
3 Add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and pulse a few seconds to combine. Taste and add the other tablespoon if it needs it – grapes can sometimes be acidic enough to leave out the final tablespoon of vinegar.
4 With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Turn off the motor and taste the gazpacho. Add more salt if needed.
Chill before serving, garnish with chopped chives.