SOUPSONG HAS GONE HARDCOPY!
(Spanish--Central Andalusian Cold Almond Soup)
Ajoblanco, according to recipe contributor José Luis Vivas, is a Weight Watcher's worst nightmare. Thanks to the high energy contents of the almonds and bread, it is a caloric bomb. In fact, he says, these soups were usually consumed by country laborers in Andalusia during the harvest months as a mid-morning snack. They would have breakfast very early (5:00 AM) and about 11:00 they stopped to prepare the soup (or have someone bring it from the house), take it and brace themselves for temperatures above 95° F from noon onwards. Logically, they stopped about 14:00 and had some light lunch... and a siesta, unless they were picking cotton and a storm was on the way.
The soup is wonderful--refreshing and very "drinkable" in texture, with unexpected richness, depth of flavor, and true savoriness. Hard to believe it's so bad for you. Serve cold to 6-8 people.
Soak the bread in water. With a powerful blender, grind the almonds, together with the garlic and a little salt, as fine as you can (the finer they are ground, the creamier the result will be). Then add the soaked bread and blend until you get a white homogeneous paste. Still blending, add the oil in a thread, as you would in a mayonnaise, and then the vinegar (for the quantity, follow your taste, but just a spritz is sufficient--otherwise you will mask the taste) and the water. Adding the oil and water must be done slowly: you want a smooth emulsion, not curd!
That's it. Serve it very cold--and with the garnish of your choice: sliced and seeded grapes, or apple slices, or melon, or small shrimps or even sliced, roasted almonds.