A chilled soup like gazpacho is the perfect way to serve up something tasty when it’s too hot to cook.
Game plan: Taste your grapes before beginning. If they are mouth-puckeringly sour, use half the vinegar indicated. Then, once you have made the recipe, taste the gazpacho and add more vinegar as desired until all the flavors of the soup are apparent without any of them being overwhelming.
Also, be sure to remove all of the peel from the cucumbers, because the skin can be very bitter.
The gazpacho can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Stir briefly before serving.
This recipe was featured as part of our Play It Cool menu.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings (about 8 cups)
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 15 mins, plus refrigeration time
- Active: 15 mins
- 1 (6-inch) piece sweet baguette
- 1/2 cup whole raw almonds
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into medium dice (from about 2 large cucumbers)
- 4 cups seedless green grapes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup water
- Finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish
- Tear bread into large chunks, place in a large bowl, and cover with water. Set aside until bread has softened, about 3 minutes.
- Combine almonds, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until the nuts are finely ground (be careful not to turn the mixture into a paste), about 30 seconds. Squeeze out the water from the bread, add to the processor, and pulse until the bread is incorporated but not forming a ball, about 10 pulses.
- Add the cucumber and process just until evenly broken down. Add the grapes and process until smooth (the bowl of the food processor will be filled almost to the top). With the processor running, pour in the vinegar and olive oil in a thin, steady stream and process until evenly incorporated.
- Transfer the soup to a 3-quart container with a tightfitting lid. While whisking, add the water in a steady stream to fully combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour. Once the gazpacho is cold, spoon it into bowls, garnish with chives, and serve.
Beverage pairing: Jean-François Mérieau Bulles, France. Green grapes, cucumbers, garlic, and vinegar bring a lot of pungency and acidity to a cold soup. Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley is a good bet to match the acidity. This dry, sparkling example keeps the acidity levels especially high, and the bubbles make a wonderful contrast to the creamy side of the soup.