Saturday, June 14, 2008

Almond Gazpacho

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
I love cold soups and I think many people think cold soup means either gazpacho or cucumber yogurt soup, which are both excellent choices, but the possibilities really are endless. So here is a great old recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook (the red one) for a Middle Eastern-flavored cold almond Gazpacho. It's best done at least a few hours ahead of time, so the flavors have time to blend.

1 cup blanched almonds
2 cups water
3 slices firm white bread with the crusts removed
1/2 cup milk
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cucumber, peeled seeded and diced
1/2 honeydew melon, peeled seeded and finely diced
1 1/2 cups halved seedless grapes
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh mint to garnish

Process the almonds and 1 cup water in the food processor with the steel blade till almost smooth. Soak the bread in the milk and squeeze dry. Stir the bread into the almonds. Stir in the yogurt, remaining 1 cup of water, the vinegar, and lemon juice. Add the zests and cardamom and stir to blend. Now stir in the cucumber, honeydew, and grapes. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate covered for several hours or overnight. Serve in chilled soup bowls garnished with mint.