White garlic soup is an almond-based cold soup from Spain with a hint of garlic. Garnished with fresh melon and vegan ice cream infused with the summer flavours of basil and olive oil.
It’s the last days of summer and I couldn’t be happier.
Summers here are stiflingly hot and humid to the point where you can forget about getting a good night’s sleep or wearing pants for at least three months of the year.
Summer in Barcelona usually extends well into September, but this year it seems like relief is coming early.
Today is officially the first day of fall and the temperature has finally dipped below 25.
I can finally put on a pair of pants (and maybe I’ll put on a shirt while I’m at it).
At any rate, it’s no wonder that the Spanish are experts at cold soups.
I’ve previously posted a recipe for one of my favorite cold soups salmorejo, a heartier, creamier version of the rather pedestrian gazpacho, and this white garlic soup is another one of my favorites, surely due to my total addiction to garlic.
If you don’t like garlic, then this soup isn’t for you and I’m sorry to say that we probably can’t be friends either. (But don’t worry, there’s always vegan vichyssoise for you!)
I usually put double the amount of garlic in every recipe that I make, and my husband is so used to it now that he was quite surprised that this soup didn’t taste overwhelmingly like garlic.
On the one hand I was being conservative while testing this recipe for the masses, but on the other hand the name white garlic soup is somewhat misleading.
It’s not white because it’s made with a massive amount of pureed garlic (although I’d be all about that!), rather it’s an almond-based soup thickened with bread and seasoned with a modest amount of (read: not nearly enough) garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil.
I first had this soup on my pseudo-honeymoon (more about that another day) on the beach in Malaga in early April.
The soup is traditionally served with green grapes, but this version on the beach had melon and olive oil ice cream.
I know what you’re thinking, olive oil ice cream? Is that a real thing? It sure is, and although it tastes a little strange taken on its own, it goes amazingly well with this soup.
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons agave, maple syrup, honey (if not vegan), or sweetener of choice
- 20 grams (about 1/4 cup packed) fresh basil
- Small pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil (a fruity variety)
- 1 teaspoon vodka
- 3/4 of a cup (100 grams) almonds, peeled
- half of a day-old baguette (100 grams)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (100 ml) olive oil
- 5 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1 litre (4 cups) of water
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- Melon and olive oil ice cream to garnish
- Start with the ice cream. In a small pot over medium heat combine the coconut milk, sweetener of choice, basil leaves and salt. Simmer for one minute while stirring constantly and then remove from heat. Once cool, strain out the basil leaves and transfer the liquid to a blender or food processor. With the blender running on low, slowly pour in the olive oil and vodka. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and put in the fridge to chill. Once chilled, place the container in the freezer. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes while it freezes.
- For the white garlic soup first soak the bread in water until soft. Remove and discard the crusts and squeeze out as much water as possible from the remaining white bread. Set aside.
- In a blender, combine the almonds and garlic with a small amount of water and blend until liquefied. Add the soaked and squeezed bread, olive oil and vinegar and continue blending. Finally, add the water and season with salt to taste. Place in the fridge to chill.
- When ready to serve, garnish with balls of melon and olive oil ice cream. Allow the ice cream to soften on the counter for a minute or two before scooping. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if desired.