Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Ajo Blanco – Spanish Garlic Soup With Garlic Puree Bruschetta

Ajo Blanco – Spanish Garlic Soup With Garlic Puree Bruschetta

This is an unmistakable result of the Moorish occupation of southern Spain. I first ate it in a scruffy fisherman’s café on the beach in Marbella. There were no tourists, no shops, one hotel and a dirt road along the coast. Franco was in power, two sisters ran the café and we were about the win the World Cup – it was 1966 and I still remember the taste.

175g/6oz ground almonds
6 big cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 thick slice white bread, soaked in water, squeezed dry
100ml/3.5 fl oz olive oil
iced water
a little lemon juice
salt
a few Muscat or sweet black grapes

Put ground almonds, garlic and bread into a food processor and whiz thoroughly till smooth. Then add the olive oil drop by drop, as for a mayonnaise. Add the iced water till the soup is a thick cream. Add lemon juice and a little salt to taste.

Traditionally this soup is served with a few peeled white Muscat grapes floating in it, when in season, but I think black grapes look more interesting.


Garlic Puree Bruschetta

1 whole bulb of garlic
a few thick slices of any coarse country bread

Using a sharp knife slice off the pointed top of the garlic bulb.

Drizzle the bulb with a little olive oil, wrap loosely in foil.

Place on a tray in a medium oven till soft – approx 50 minutes.

Toast the bread and spread with garlic puree squeezed from the roasted cloves. Cut in fingers and serve with the soup.

 

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