Spain’s Summer Soups Series - Ajoblanco
Ajoblanco soup is an Andalusian staple and the grandfather of gazpacho! We check out this simple summer soup and raw food option from Spain - with some quirky variations
Hailing from Málaga and popularized across Andalusia in southern Spain, ajoblanco soup is regarded as the grandfather of gazpacho. Its roots in Spanish cuisine predate Colombus discovering the Americas (and all those tomatoes). This cold, white, garlic soup incorporates simple ingredients from Spain - and makes for a fresh idea to serve up on a hot summer’s day.
The recipe itself is quick to make as there is no cooking involved, so this is interesting as a raw food item, a trend that has been globally important for its health and lifestyle benefits. If you haven’t guessed, the main flavor in this soup is garlic -hence ajoblanco - but the addition of almonds, bread crumbs and seasoning give it a milder creaminess. In Malaga, the traditional garnish is a swirl of extra virgin olive oil along with a couple of green grapes, halved, or slices of melón - this is about as fresh as it comes, in cold soups!
While ajoblanco is great as is, those who are feeling adventurous can try some exciting variations:
Ajoblanco de coco: this follows the same idea as ajoblanco tradicional but the water is replaced with coconut milk. The result is oh-so-creamy and the subtle coconut flavor conjures summer even more!
Ajoblanco de chufas: using the tigernut that makes Valencian horchata, this soup calls for chufas that have been presoaked (in salt water) instead of using almonds.
Ajoblanco de maíz dulce con jamón: how to give this creamy cold soup more depth of flavor and texture? By adding sweet and savory elements, such as sweetcorn and jamón serrano as a topping.
Ajoblanco de melocotón: peaches are in season all summer in Spain - so when life gives you peaches… try this twist on the traditional ajoblanco! As with the sweetcorn variation, it’s all about the balance in this fruit-forward version teamed with the likes of tuna.
With all these varieties of ajoblanco available, only one question remains - which to try first?!