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Spanish Garlic and Almond Soup with Grapes
(recipe, Adam Ried)
Trim the crust off of a 1-pound loaf of bread, and you’ll end up with 12 or 13 ounces of crumb, which is just what you want. Many recipes specify stale bread, presumably in the name of thrift, but I find that fresh works just as well. Chilled serving bowls are more than a nice touch; they’re practically a necessity.
- 1 loaf (1 pound) French, Italian, or sturdy country white bread, crust trimmed and removed, bread torn or cut into roughly 1-inch pieces (about 7 cups lightly packed)
- 6 cups filtered or spring water
- 2 cups skinless blanched whole, slivered, or sliced almonds, toasted; reserve ¼ cup for garnish (chopped if whole)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
- 1½ Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1½ cups green seedless grapes (about 35), each grape quartered lengthwise
- Soak the bread in the water in a large bowl, pushing the bread down to keep it submerged, until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Purée half the soaked bread and its liquid, half the almonds, and half the garlic in a blender until very smooth (do not fill the jar more than halfway; purée in additional batches if necessary). Remove the center cap from the blender-jar lid and, with the motor running, add half the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, and purée until the mixture is very smooth and emulsified. Pour into a large, nonreactive bowl (preferably stainless steel) and set aside. Repeat blending, with remaining soaked bread and liquid, almonds, garlic, and olive oil; blend in sherry, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons salt, and add to the first batch. Stir to blend, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
- To serve, divide the cut grapes between the chilled serving bowls. Stir the soup to blend, taste, and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and vinegar if necessary. Ladle the soup over the grapes, garnish each bowl with a few of the reserved toasted almonds, and serve immediately.