White Gazpacho

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Cool, refreshing, and filling, this classic Spanish white gazpacho is made with bread, almonds, cucumbers, grapes, olive oil, and garlic.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

With all the hot weather much of the country has been experiencing, we thought we’d suggest a gazpacho, a chilled soup, one that you can make quickly, with minimal use of the stove.

Not all gazpachos are made with tomatoes. White gazpacho is a classic dish from Spain, earlier versions dating back to when the Moors controlled Andalucia.

This version is made with bread, blanched almonds, green grapes, cucumbers, olive oil, and garlic. Odd combination you might think, but let me assure you, it truly is delicious.

There’s no dairy. The soup gets body and protein from the blanched almonds. The bread acts as a thickener. The cucumbers are wonderfully cooling.

White Gazpacho

White Gazpacho Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

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.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of crustless stale bread, broken into pieces
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock for vegan or 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

Method

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.

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Links:

White Gazpacho from Sean of Hedonia

Discovering White Gazpacho from the Paupered Chef

Gazpacho Blanco from the Porcini Chronicles

White Gazpacho with Parsley Picada from The Runaway Spoon

Showing 4 of 23 Comments

  • Maggie

    Hi Elise,

    thanks for all your wonderful work – this is my favorite website to find recipes! My question is, can I use brown bread for this soup? Thanks!

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    The first time I made this, I thought it highly unlikely that these ingredients would ever come together into a soup I’d want to eat. Of course I was wrong. This is a classy soup that surprises and delights every time I serve it.

  • Tim T.O.

    This looks very intriguing. Looking forward to trying it.
    Two questions –
    Why does the bread have to be stale?

    Also, would this work well as a traditional hot soup?

    Good questions! I think the reason you use old bread is that this soup is a great way to use it up. We buy fresh baked French or Italian loaves here for our bread and it gets hard very quickly, within days. Often we are left with ends that are hard and dry which we usually use to make bread crumbs. So, here is a soup for which the old dry hard parts are ideal. You can easily make the soup with fresh bread too, just use a good quality French or Italian loaf and remove the crusts. Now for the second question, no, I do not think this would make a good hot soup. I tried it first when it was still luke warm. It was much better chilled. ~Elise

  • Peg Tomlinson-Poswall

    This is one of my favorite soups in the summer!

  • Paul

    Elise,
    I was wondering about the “sherry or cider vinegar” entry. Do you mean sherry (like Amontillado) vs. cider vinegar, or, sherry vinegar as a substitute for cider vinegar?

    In any event, I’ll go for the hint of real sherry anyday. Authentically Spanish.

    Paul

    Hi Paul, sherry vinegar. Thanks, I’ll make the clarification in the ingredient list. ~Elise

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