White Gazpacho


Serves 4

Ingredients

NOTE:  The proportions are meant as a guideline only–switch them around according to what you have on hand and how you like things to taste.

6 cups peeled, seeded  cucumbers, cut into chunks (I used several varieties)

1 cup plus 1 TB blanched  almonds

1/2  honeydew melon, seeded, peeled and cut into chunks

3/4 cup  green or red seedless grapes, plus 2 grapes reserved

2 cloves  fresh garlic

seasalt

olive oil

dash of champagne vinegar

1 TB minced  dill

2 tsp minced  mint

zest of one lemon, finely chopped

Optional: half a ripe avocado

Directions

1.  In a food processor, grind all but 1 TB of the almonds until a fine but loose-grain powder

2. With a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic with a pinch of coarse sea salt until you have a paste; add a couple of TB olive oil and keep mashing until smooth

3. Into a blender or food processor, place the cucumbers, ground almonds, grapes (keep the 2 reserved aside), melon, garlic paste, dash of vinegar, optional avocado, dill, and mint.  Puree until smooth.

4.  Chill.

5. Toast the reserved almonds in a pan with a little olive oil and hot pepper if you like.

6. When serving, garnish the top of the soup with thin slices of the reserved grapes, shreds of lemon zest, and the toasted almonds, slivered.

Buon appetito!

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