Spain

Ajo Blanco – Spanish Cold Almond & Garlic Soup

May 3, 2017

A cousin of the famous Gazpacho, Ajo Blanco is a cold soup coming from Spain. Featuring very finely ground almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil, vinegar, and garnished with grapes, it’s perfect refreshment for scorching summer days!

Ajo Blanco is your answer to the summer heat! Almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil, and grapes combined together to create this chilled Spanish soup! | cookingtheglobe.com

Being here in Tenerife, I am continuing the exploration of Spanish cuisine. We see so many awesome foods served in bars and restaurants while strolling down the streets every single day my eyes don’t know where to look!

That said, we don’t eat out often. There are a few reasons for that. First, our 1.5 year old kid is super active and he just can’t sit at one place for more than a couple of minutes. It’s really hard to enjoy food together with my wife because one of us usually has to run after the baby. That’s not how I picture a nice meal at a restaurant, ha ha!

Another reason is the price. Staying here for 2 months and paying an arm and a leg for the apartment, our budget is tight. We could stay less and live like kings but our choice is always a lengthier stay even if it’s a modest one. We have nothing against “getting our hands dirty” and cooking at home. To be frank, we even like exploring local grocery stores in search for interesting products we have never tried before. The most important thing is that we are here enjoying sun, the ocean, and mindblowing views!

It doesn’t mean cutting on restaurants completely, though. Usually we visit them on scorching days when we are out at the beach and we need something to freshen us up. It could be a smoothie, an ice cream, or a cold soup! If you didn’t know that before, Spain is known for its chilled soups.

Ajo Blanco is your answer to the summer heat! Almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil, and grapes combined together to create this chilled Spanish soup! | cookingtheglobe.com

The most famous one is Gazpacho. You must have heard this name. It’s a tomato based soup packed with other veggies, stale bread, olive oil, and vinegar. Another one is Salmorejo. It’s also based on tomatoes but is richer, thicker, and may be garnished with some ham. Both these soups are exquisite (I tried both of them already here) but today I want to talk about their tomato-less cousin Ajo Blanco.

Ajo Blanco also features stale bread, vinegar, olive oil but is also packed with almonds and garlic. By the way, it’s the oldest one from all the Spanish chilled soups and it existed even before tomatoes were brought to Europe. What a pity that Gazpacho stole all the spotlight from his big brother. Ajo Blanco is even called white gazpacho by some people.

It’s interesting that the soup takes its name from garlic (Ajo Blanco literally translates as white garlic) even though the almonds are the ones that dominate here.

Ajo Blanco is your answer to the summer heat! Almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil, and grapes combined together to create this chilled Spanish soup! | cookingtheglobe.com

This Spanish almond & garlic soup is crazy easy to make. Even my kid would make it. Seriously. All you have to do is just throw almonds, bread, garlic, olive oil, cold water, salt, and vinegar into a food processor and blend. That’s it! Then you either chill it or not and serve. It can’t be easier, guys! You will have some job to do if you won’t be able to get blanched almonds as this soup requires skins to be removed.

Ajo Blanco – Things to Consider

  • The amount of garlic. There is no rule on how much garlic you should use for the soup. My recipe suggests half a clove per person but you can easily up it to one clove per person if you like more kick.
  • The toppings. Usually Ajo Blanco is served with some fruit thrown inside. I find it to be a little bit conflicting because the soup is savory and I don’t feel it needs any sweetness but my wife loved it, though. The most popular option is grapes but I also saw some recipes with apples and even fresh figs! The idea I loved the most and the one I’m trying next is adding some cucumber. Somehow I feel that it will fit great here!
  • The amount of water. Once again there is no strict rule. Just keep adding cold water with a food processor running until you get a consistency you like. Some recipes add milk instead of water or, for example, soak the bread in milk.

Ajo Blanco is your answer to the summer heat! Almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil, and grapes combined together to create this chilled Spanish soup! | cookingtheglobe.com

To sum it up, I find Ajo Blanco to be a perfect refreshment for hot summer days. Sometimes it’s nice to alternate sweet smoothies, juices, and ice creams with something savory. Try it and let me know how you liked it, guys!

Looking for more cold refreshing soups? Check out this Cold Beet Soup aka Cold Borscht coming from my country! Ajo Blanco is your answer to the summer heat! Almonds, garlic, bread, olive oil, and grapes combined together to create this chilled Spanish soup! | cookingtheglobe.com

This Cold Beet Soup, also called Summer Borscht is perfect for beating the heat. It's also really easy and quick to make!

5 from 6 votes
Print
Ajo Blanco - Spanish Cold Almond & Garlic Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Ajo Blanco is the Spanish answer to the heat. This chilled almond and garlic soup is super easy and requires only 10 minutes to make!

Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 6 people
Calories Per Serving: 446 kcal
Author: Cooking The Globe
Ingredients
  • 3 slices (about 3 oz. or 100g) crustless white bread
  • 9 oz. (250g) blanched almonds , plus more for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups cold water
  • salt , to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • seedless white grapes
Instructions
  1. Soak the bread in water for a couple of minutes.

  2. In a food processor, add the almonds and process until finely ground. Add the soaked bread, garlic, olive oil, and process well. With the food processor running, gradually add the water until you get a lightly creamy texture. Season with salt and add the vinegar.

  3. Chill for a couple of hours and serve in bowls drizzled with oil and garnished with almond slices and grapes. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Adapted from The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden


Nutrition Facts
Ajo Blanco - Spanish Cold Almond & Garlic Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 446 Calories from Fat 357
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39.7g 61%
Sodium 77.9mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 16.6g 6%
Sugars 2.7g
Protein 10.6g 21%
Vitamin C 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

* This post contains affiliate links, thank you for the support in keeping Cooking The Globe up and running!

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18 Comments

  • Reply Mark, CompassandFork May 5, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Great post! We also have just visited Spain (Madrid and Valencia) and loved the cuisine. How good are the almonds? So pleased to see them featured here. Will be making this for sure.

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I have never been to Madrid and Valencia yet, only in Barcelona, but I would absolutely love to!

  • Reply Elizabeth May 5, 2017 at 8:52 am

    What an intriguing recipe! I have all the ingredients on hand (except for the grapes) so I need to make this, soon! We’re visiting Spain this summer and I’m really looking forward to the food. 🙂

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Oh, you will love Spanish cuisine! 😉

  • Reply Kavey at Kavey Eats May 5, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I’ve only had Ajo Blanco once and really liked it, it’s such an unusual recipe, not anything else like it that I’ve encountered. Yours looks really delicious too!

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Yup, it’s a little bit unusual but it’s nice to have something different from time to time 😉

  • Reply Alyssa May 5, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I love a cold soup, especially living in Austin, Texas during the summer. I never cold heard of a creamy, cold soup though! I’ll have to try this out.

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      You will love it, Alyssa!

  • Reply Platter Talk May 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Interesting recipe for a soup I’ve never tried. Yesterday while I was in a farmers market, I sampled my first unripe almond. I’d really like to try this recipe. Thanks for expanding my culinary bank!

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Wow, I have never had an unripe almond. Would love to, though!

  • Reply Amanda May 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I think the addition of figs would be delicious since they pair well with savory dishes. This recipe looks beautiful!

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Maybe you are right, Amanda. I will try Ajo Blanco with figs next time 😉

  • Reply Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry May 7, 2017 at 9:33 am

    What a different recipe, really interesting and perfect for a hot day

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      I am glad you liked it, Bintu 😉

  • Reply Vicky @ Avocado Pesto May 8, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Spent a few weeks in Spain last year and tried ajo blanco for the first time! Before I loved Gazpacho, then I fell head over heels in love with salmorejo and now I’m on to ajo blanco. I’ve got to make this at home myself this summer!

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      I love all these soups equally! Each one of them has such a unique taste 😉

  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine May 8, 2017 at 10:22 am

    The almond sounds wonderful! What a great soup!

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca!

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