Ajo Blanco (Spanish Almond Soup) • Curious Cuisiniere

Steps by steps making Ajo Blanco

In a recent voyage that took me through the rolling landscapes and culinary heartlands of Spain, I unearthed the simplicity and sophistication of a dish called “Ajo Blanco.” This traditional Andalusian soup seemingly blends the unexpected with the traditional, harmonizing green grapes, Marcona almonds, and white bread into a refreshing chilled soup. The crisp sweetness of the green grapes, the rich velvetiness of Marcona almonds, combined with the soft texture of soaked white bread, create a symphony of flavors that are both delicate and bold, embodying the essence of Spanish summer in each spoonful.

Captivated by the light yet complex nature of Ajo Blanco, I embarked on a journey to recreate this gastronomic delight within the confines of my own kitchen. Through a mix of careful blending and seasoning, I captured the essence of the soup that had so fascinated me during my travels. Now, it’s with a great sense of pleasure that I share this recipe, inviting you to dive into the refreshing world of Spanish cuisine with Ajo Blanco, a dish that carries the whispers of Andalusian summers and the innovative spirit of its culinary traditions.

Ajo Blanco Recipe

Ajo Blanco (Spanish Almond Soup) • Curious Cuisiniere

Ajo Blanco

Ajo Blanco stands as a testament to the culinary wonder that Spanish cuisine offers, particularly showcasing the region of Andalusia's ability to blend simple ingredients into an exquisite gastronomic delight. Fondly referred to as "white gazpacho," this chilled soup marries the subtle crispness of green grapes with the creamy texture of Marcona almonds and the softness of white bread, creating a refreshing dish that captivates with its balance of flavors and textures. My discovery of Ajo Blanco through travels unveiled not only the dish’s refreshing taste perfect for summer days but also its rich cultural heritage, reinforcing the notion that food acts as a bridge connecting us to different cultures and histories.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 6
Calories 1021 kcal


  • 1 blender
  • 1 mixing bowl


  • About 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Green grapes optional
  • About 1 cup of cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 apple
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar
  • 2 slices of white bread


  • Fill the blender halfway with icy white distilled vinegar and add the dry bread.
  • Combine the strained nuts, diced apples, and garlic in a mixing bowl.
  • In a blender, pulse until creamy.
  • Taste and season with salt and vinegar as needed.
  • If serving right away, add ice.
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while mixing.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • If you do have time, cool in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with chopped grapes on top.
Keyword Marcona almonds, white bread

Cooking tips about Ajo Blanco

Ajo Blanco

  • Almond Quality: The soul of Ajo Blanco lies in its almonds. Marcona almonds are traditional for their creamy texture and sweet flavor, but if those are hard to come by, any high-quality blanched almonds will do. Ensure they are fresh, as the oils in almonds can turn rancid over time, affecting the final taste.
  • Bread Selection: Use white bread that’s slightly stale; it should be soft and without crusts. The bread acts as a thickener, giving Ajo Blanco its characteristic body. Modern variations use gluten-free alternatives successfully, so feel free to adapt based on dietary needs.
  • Garlic Balance: Garlic adds a vital kick but remember, its raw potency should complement, not dominate, the dish. Start with a small amount and adjust according to taste. Spanish garlic tends to be less pungent than other varieties, so if you find your garlic is very strong, reduce the quantity.
  • Blend to Perfection: The goal is a silky smooth texture. A powerful blender is your best friend here, blending long enough to ensure the almonds and bread fully incorporate into a milky emulsion. If needed, pass the soup through a fine sieve to catch any unblended bits.
  • Chill Thoroughly: Ajo Blanco needs to be served cold, particularly on hot summer days. Chill it for at least a few hours or overnight, as this allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Season Just Right: Don’t forget to season! Apart from the usual salt, a good sherry vinegar will add a lovely depth and a slight tang, elevating the flavors accordingly. Again, add gradually, tasting as you go to achieve the perfect balance.
  • Garnish Thoughtfully: Traditionally, Ajo Blanco is served with fresh green grapes, but you can also garnish with toasted slivered almonds, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or even melon balls for a play on sweetness against the soup’s richness.
  • Serve Creatively: Although outstanding on its own, pairing Ajo Blanco with seared scallops or shrimp creates an elegant appetizer. For a casual twist, serve in shot glasses as part of a tapas selection.

Serving suggestions about Ajo Blanco


  • Perfect Pairing with Grapes: Traditionally, Ajo Blanco is garnished with fresh green grapes, which complement the creamy texture with their juicy crispness. The contrast between the smooth, nutty flavor of the soup and the sweet, refreshing grapes enhances the overall dining experience.
  • Garnish with Toasted Nuts: Sprinkle toasted Marcona almonds or slivered almonds on top before serving. This not only adds a crunch but also intensifies the almond flavor that is central to the dish.
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil: A light drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil just before serving can beautifully accentuate the flavors. Choose an olive oil that is fruity and aromatic to highlight the soup’s velvety texture.
  • With a Side of Rustic Bread: Serve Ajo Blanco with slices of crusty, artisan bread. Guests can dip the bread into the soup, enjoying a satisfying blend of textures and flavors.
  • Innovative Garnishes: For a creative twist, consider adding edible flowers or herbs such as mint or basil for garnish. These add color, fragrance, and a hint of freshness to the dish.
  • Addition of Melon or Cucumber: Small cubes of melon or cucumber can be added as a garnish for an extra burst of coolness, providing a lovely textural contrast and a slight sweetness that plays off the soup’s richness.
  • Pair with Light Proteins: Ajo Blanco pairs wonderfully with light, chilled seafood like shrimp or crabmeat, offering a delightful combination that’s perfect for elegant summer dining.
  • Wine Pairing: Complement Ajo Blanco with a chilled glass of Spanish white wine, such as Verdejo or Albariño. The crisp acidity and fruit notes of the wine can beautifully balance the rich, nutty flavors of the soup.

Top 5 FAQs about Ajo Blanco

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  • What is Ajo Blanco, and where does it originate?
    Ajo Blanco is often referred to as “white gazpacho,” originating from the Andalusia region in southern Spain. It’s a chilled soup that emphasizes the harmonious blend of green grapes, Marcona almonds, and white bread, resulting in a culinary creation that is both refreshing and rich in flavor, perfect for hot summer days. This dish showcases the simplicity and elegance of Spanish cuisine, making use of locally available ingredients to create a gastronomic delight.
  • What are the key ingredients in Ajo Blanco?
    The principal components of Ajo Blanco include Marcona almonds known for their creamy texture, green grapes that add a crisp sweetness, and white bread soaked to provide body and softness to the soup. These, combined with garlic for a subtle kick, olive oil for silkiness, and sometimes sherry vinegar for a touch of acidity, blend into a refreshing soup that is served cold.
  • How do you achieve the perfect consistency and texture in Ajo Blanco?
    Achieving the silky-smooth consistency of Ajo Blanco requires a high-quality blender to thoroughly combine the almonds, bread, garlic, water, and olive oil into a fine emulsion. To ensure the soup is perfectly smooth, some prefer to strain it through a fine sieve. The texture should be velvety, inviting each spoonful to be a blend of richness and refreshing taste.
  • Can Ajo Blanco be prepared in advance and how should it be served?
    Yes, Ajo Blanco benefits greatly from being prepared in advance. Chilling the soup for several hours or overnight allows the flavors to meld together beautifully, enhancing the overall taste. Traditionally, it is served cold, garnished with fresh green grapes, slivered Marcona almonds, and a drizzle of olive oil to elevate the simplicity of the dish.
  • What dishes pair well with Ajo Blanco for a complete meal?
    Ajo Blanco serves as a versatile starter or light meal that pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes. For a cohesive dining experience, consider serving it alongside light seafood dishes like grilled shrimp or seared scallops. Additionally, it complements grilled vegetables or a selection of Spanish cheeses and cured meats, bridging the gap between refreshment and satiation in a meal. The chilled soup also pairs beautifully with a crisp, dry white wine, enhancing its Mediterranean character.

Ajo Blanco, with its harmonious interplay of flavors and textures, truly exemplifies the prowess of Spanish culinary tradition, particularly from the sun-kissed region of Andalusia. This chilled soup, known affectionately as “white gazpacho,” artfully combines the nutty richness of Marcona almonds with the crisp sweetness of green grapes and the tender texture of white bread, culminating in a dish that is as refreshing as it is nourishing. My encounter with Ajo Blanco was a revelation—a testament to the simplicity and depth that Spanish cuisine effortlessly navigates, transforming humble ingredients into a delicacy that speaks volumes of the region’s gastronomy.


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