It’s June. This means that summer is knocking on our door. I know this is true because of three very important facts: 1) swimsuits have become the primary attire at my house, 2) my youngest came home yesterday with his annual summer mohawk, and 3) I’m trying to find any way imaginable to NOT turn on the oven.
Yesterday seemed especially warm and my 20-year-old air conditioner is struggling to keep up. Eating is tough anyway for me when it’s hot but eating warm food just seemed impossible. I threw some asparagus and pork chops on the grill for the rest of my family but for me, it was time for soup.
I love summer soups. Cold soups are refreshing and delicious. No doubt many of them will be making an appearance here in the coming months. Last night, however, it was my favorite, Grape and Almond Gazpacho.
I first had Grape and Almond Gazpacho at a small Italian place south of Downtown Fort Worth. From the first moment I tasted it, I was in love. The sweet tangy flavor, the slightly crunchy texture, the coolness down the throat were very near perfection for a hot summer day. I was determined to find a way to make it at home.
The closest recipe I could find was one from Mustard’s Grill in Napa Valley. I was surprised when I learned that the soup called for two pounds of grapes. I was afraid that the sweetness would overpower the other flavors but Mustard’s is known for their amazing food so, with a few ingredient adjustments, I gathered my supplies and set to work.
One of the things that I love about this Gazpacho recipe is that it can be done very quickly in the food processor. There’s no need to use a food mill, as with other more traditional recipes. You can simply put your ingredents in the processor and pulse until done.
I like texture and color in my gazpacho. I like the small flecks of green and brown and even the black of the pepper. I like the feel in my mouth of the almonds so I’m careful not to over-process. The result is an amazing tangy and sweet soup that is the perfect summer meal.
So for you Foodies with a sense of adventure. Enjoy! For those of you who aren’t quite as adventurous, maybe you should try it anyway. You might surprise yourself – and even those around you.
Green Grape and Almond Gazpacho
- 2 pounds seedless green grapes
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into large dice
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/2 bunch fresh chives or 2 green onions, white and green parts
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 3 oz. cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine grapes, cucumber, almonds, chives, vinegar, yogurt, cream cheese, olive oil and buttermilk in a blender or food processor and process until smooth but with some texture. Pour into a bowl and stir in salt, pepper, dill and cayenne. Refrigerate until well chilled. Serves 6-8.