Friday, April 17, 2009

White Gazpacho ~ Slightly Sweet & Tangy

White Gazpacho ~ Slightly Sweet & Tangy
Makes 4 cups

I made this for a Garden Party Buffet we gave last summer; it was perfectly refreshing and very popular. It's also vegetarian friendly.

Different than other white gazpachos than I've had, it is slightly sweet from the grapes, and tangy from the mild vinegars. The almonds and bread add body; I served grape halves and toasted Spanish Marcona almonds on the side so each person could add their own. It's an excellent selection for a party or other gathering as it can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator until serving time. Keeper!

4-5 slices French bread, (or other good, non-sweet white bread) about 1/2" thick
2 cups water
1/4 of a medium size yellow onion, peeled and chopped (or 6 scallions, white part only)
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped (English, or regular)
1/2 cup champagne vinegar *(
1/2 cup almond or mildly flavored olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 pound green grapes, rinsed and halved, garnish (but don't omit!)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or blanched whole almonds -or almond halves), toasted

Remove crusts from bread slices. Cut bread into 1/2" cubes to make 2 cups of bread cubes. Put the bread and water into blender with the onion, cucumber, vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and white pepper. Puree until completely smooth.

Chill soup until it is very cold (at least two hours).
Serve it in cold bowls or mugs. Garnish with the green grapes and toasted almonds. Offer more, if desired so each person can add their own.

*For the vinegar: You may use 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, plus 1/4 cup good white wine vinegar, not plain white vinegar as it is too strong. Alternately, substitute 1/2 cup plain (unseasoned) Rice Vinegar.

Note: There are many, many versions of t )his recipe floating around the internet, the one I used in August was inspired by Panera Bread's recipe.