Sunday, July 7, 2013

Green Grape and Marcona Almond Gazpacho: Cold and Refreshing for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Not everyone appreciates a cold soup. Although I go through the entire year eating mostly warm soups, I also like something cool and refreshing on the more humid days. Last week I bought a ton of organic grapes--both red and green for 99 cents a pound at Whole Foods. (I can't pass up a bargain like that.) ;-) I have been eating them fresh and frozen like they are going out of style, but I saved some to make this elegant Spanish-inspired Green Grape and Marcona Almond Gazpacho. If you aren't acquainted with cold soups, this one would be a great one to start with.

This recipe comes from Food & Wine magazine

Food & Wine says, "Most people think tomato when they hear gazpacho, but there's no tomato in sight here. This version of Spain's classic white gazpacho features cucumber and green grapes, thickened with a few luscious marcona almonds to a silky creaminess.

Green Grape and Marcona Almond Gazpacho 
Susan Spungen for Food & Wine
(Serves 4)

1 large garlic clove 
2 1/2 large seedless cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (5 cups), + 1/4 cup finely diced peeled cucumber, for garnish  
1 1/4 cups whole green grapes, plus 1/4 cup diced grapes, for garnish  
3/4 cup marcona almonds  
3 cups crustless 1/2-inch dice of good white bread  
4 scallions, white and tender green parts, cut into 1-inch lengths  
1 cup packed watercress leaves  
1/2 cup cold water  
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil  
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar  
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan of boiling water, cook the garlic clove for 10 minutes; drain.
In a blender, working in batches, puree the garlic with the 5 cups of diced cucumber, the 1 1/4 cups of whole green grapes, 1/2 cup of the almonds and the bread cubes, scallions, watercress, water, olive oil and sherry vinegar until very smooth. Transfer the soup to a large pitcher and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

To serve, chop the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds. Stir the gazpacho, then pour it into shallow bowls. Garnish the soups with the finely diced cucumber and grapes and the chopped almonds and serve.
Make Ahead: The gazpacho can be refrigerated overnight. 
Nutritionals: Per serving: 441 Calories, 32 gm Total Fat, 3.5 gm Saturated Fat, 33 gm Carbohydrates, 6 gm Fiber.

Notes/Results: Cool, smooth and not-too-sweet--it's very refreshing. A pretty, colorful soup--served in the small, shallow bowls with all of the toppings. In addition to the green grapes, I like the color contrast of adding a few purple grapes on top. The flavors combine well with the slight bitterness of the watercress a good contrast with the grapes. Boiling the garlic before takes away its edge and keeps it from overpowering the soup. Both the bread and the marconas thicken the soup, while still keeping it light. Simple, great as a summer starter, and quick to make, I would make it again.  

Let's see who is in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week!

Tigerfish of Teczcape --An Escape to Food made this Ground Sesame Organic Vegetables Salad and says, "Recently, I have been making this sesame seeds-dressed salad quite often, and enjoying it very much. First this salad is very easy to put together. But which salad is not? In addition, while grinding the roasted sesame seeds in my handy mortar and pestle, the aroma is indescribably good and when the salad is finally made, it exudes a lingering nutty aroma with those touch(es) of roasted ground sesame."

Graziana of Erbe in Cucina is back with this healthy homegrown Purslane Salad with Sesame Seeds. She says, "Green purslane was born spontaneously in this empty container, and I harvested many broad and fleshy leaves. With some magenta spreen and toasted sesame seeds I prepared a quick and tasty salad."

Joyce of Kitchen Flavours tried Ottolenghi's colorful Tomato and Pomegranate Salad and says, "A beautiful delicious plate of salad. I love the vibrant colour of the salad, the gorgeous red from the pomegranate seeds, red bell pepper and red cherry tomatoes, the sunny yellow from the yellow cherry tomatoes and fresh green from the coriander leaves. This is so yummy, I've enjoyed this very much, and one that I would definitely make again.

Janet of The Taste Space shares a healthy Strawberry & Blueberry Salad with Cacao Nibs, Hemp & Maca and says, "To celebrate my first American holiday, July 4, I made this patriotic-looking salad: strawberries and blueberries with cacao nibs, hemp and maca. A fun fruit salad with unusual but not unfamiliar flavours. Kind of like a Canadian in America, no? A bit different but kind of the same. I will save my American-Canadian observations for another post… so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, enjoy your summer with some tasty berries."

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes offers up a pretty side salad saying. "I perused my books and in Food Network Kitchens Cookbook I found French Lentil and Roasted Beet Salad.  It had roasted beets and goat cheese – a winning combination, but it added an earthy lentil element. ...This was a winner!  It was the perfect accompaniment to my spatchcocked chicken.  The lentils added a deep earthiness, the beets a sweetness and that all played nicely with the tart goat cheese."  

Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations made low-carb Roasted Asparagus Salad with Broiled Scallops and says, "For weight control, many people control their carbohydrate intake. However, you still want to feel satisfied after a meal. I have a flavorful combination for you that left me feeling satisfied and yet light and energetic, so that I could work out within 30 minutes after eating."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shares this healthful Cauliflower Couscous Tabbouleh salad and says, "It never ceases to amaze me how itneresting cauliflower tastes in so many different types of recipes, and doesn't really taste like cauliflower. This summer salad is light, low calorie, gluten free, vegan and low carb, making it a perfect salad for your next BBQ or family meal. Try it , you'll like it."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I haven't really gotten into cold soups very much but I"m looking to change that! I love that this gazpacho is green-based rather than very refreshing!

  2. Divine. I could drink bowls of this!

  3. I really love cold soup in the summertime. It actually feels really indulgent, like a special kind of dessert. I think this looks really pretty with the green and purple grapes on top. Not to mention that it looks so smooth!

    P.S. We've been having the same sale on grapes here too and I've been buying tons. Jackson likes to eat cheese and grapes everyday (it's his snack of choice). Sure helps when they are on sale!

  4. Joyce, kitchen flavoursJuly 8, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    I adore grapes! Love them, I could snack on them and find it difficult to stop! I have never had them in soup before, this sounds really refreshing and delicious, would love to give this a try some day!
    Great Souper Sunday roundup, Thank you for hosting, Deb!


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