This unusual white gazpacho, with roots in the Màlaga region of Spain, is light, creamy and refreshing. It feels like a spoil, but is actually extremely healthy. It makes an elegant light lunch for summer’s hottest days.
Nowadays, gazpacho is synonymous with summer’s ripest capsicums and tomatoes. However, its ancient origins are very different. Tomatoes and capsicums were brought to Europe from the Americas long after gazpacho was first eaten in ancient Rome.
Apparently, gazpacho originally consisted of stale bread, soaked in water to soften it and create the “soup”. Other ingredients, such as almonds, olive oil, and garlic were added according to season, region, and availability. The tomatoes and capsicums we associate with gazpacho today arrived hundreds of years later.
Màlaga is a Spanish region, well known for its sweet white wines. Thus, it’s unsurprising to discover that its famous white gazpacho is made with white grapes.
About this Recipe
I first encountered the recipe for white gazpacho in the LA Times back in 2012. The recipe intrigued me because it comes from a restaurant in Martha’s Vineyard where the Obama’s ate during summer holidays. It also involves fresh white grapes — of which we normally have an abundance towards the end of summer. Moreover, a light, cold soup, such as this one, is always a refreshing starter.
As far as I can tell, the original recipe for white gazpacho involves stale bread and almonds, rather than cucumbers. However, this lighter, gluten-free version, where almonds are a condiment rather than a central ingredient, appealed to my modern ideas about healthy eating.
Moreover, cucumbers have a natural cooling effect on the body. Thus, their addition to this version of the soup makes it even more appealing as a summer starter.
If you strain the soup — as I did — it makes a highly refined dish, appropriate for the fanciest of parties. Otherwise, you will wind up with a fibre rich, hearty soup which is ideal for everyday family dining. Either way, I hope your family enjoys this refreshing summer soup as much as mine does. Bon appétit!
Creamy White Gazpacho, A Refreshing Cold Soup Hot Summer Days
This refreshing summer soup from Spain makes an elegant starter. It's packed with cooling fruit and vegetables and bound to please even the most discerning palate. A true showstopper. Best of all? It comes together in just 15 minutes!
- 2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 500 g seedless green grapes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup double cream yogurt (or Greek)
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)
- 1/2 lemon, juice of
- 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons green Tabasco sauce, or to taste
- toasted almond flakes (optional), to garnish
- snipped chives (optional), to garnish
- smoked paprika oil (optional), to garnish
- Step 1 Place the cucumber chunks in a blender and process until you arrive at a smooth consistency. Pour cucumber purée into a large bowl.
- Step 2 Place grapes and garlic cloves in the same blender jug. Process until smooth. Pour into the same bowl as the cucumber puree and stir to incorporate.
- Step 3 For a more elegant soup, pass the purée through a fine mesh strainer to remove any impurities. For a more hearty, every day soup you may opt to skip this step.
- Step 4 Add crème fraîche, yoghurt, lemon, salt, sugar, and Tabasco sauce. Whisk into the soup until thoroughly incorporated. Taste for balance and adjust salt, sugar, vinegar, and Tabasco, as needed.
- Step 5 Refrigerate soup until serving time. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with almond flakes, chives and smoked paprika oil (see Note).
To make smoked paprika oil: warm 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika in a small skillet until fragrant. Set aside to cool. This pretty red oil may be used to garnish any number of dishes, including this fresh, cold soup.