Ajo blanco

Ajo Blanco

Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 200g whole, skinned almonds
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, inner green germ removed if necessary, roughly chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 500mls ice-cold water, plus a little more if necessary
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 300mls extra virgin olive oil [the finer the oil, the better]
  • 2-3tbsp sherry vinegar, to taste
  • 1 green jalapeno chilli, de-seeded [optional]
  • Quince jelly, to serve
  • A little extra olive oil
  • White pepper

Method

  1. Put the almonds in a frying pan and place over a low heat. Shaking them around a bit for a minute or two, allow the almonds to slightly gild; the palest, very palest tinge is all that is necessary, just to accentuate the taste of the nut. Tip onto a plate and leave to cool.
  2. Put all the ingredients [apart from the quince jelly, extra oil and pepper] into a large bowl and stir together. Have another large bowl handy, with a fine sieve suspended over it.
  3. Now, using a large ladle, decant 2-3 ladles of the mixture at a time into a liquidizer, process until very smooth indeed, then pour into the sieve. Use the back of a ladle to press the soup through into the bowl beneath, forcing out every last drop of liquid.
  4. Once finished, add a twist of white pepper then taste the soup and whisk in any further seasonings/acidity/oil you might think necessary to suit your personal taste.
  5. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, together with 4 soup bowls.
  6. Once cooled, divide the soup into the bowls and add a few tiny dollops each of quince jelly, as well as the tiniest amount of olive oil.