White Gazpacho with Peeled White Grapes

from Cindy's Supper Club

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 loaf day-old artisanal white bread (about 7 oz)
1 cup milk (or water for a vegan soup)
18 to 30 large white seedless grapes
1 1/3 cups (7 ounces) blanched whole almonds
2 to 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup ice mixed with 2 1/2 cups water
(the measuring cupshould read 3 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons aged Spanish sherry vinegar
Sea salt

Trim off the crust from the bread and tear the bread
into even-sized chunks. Put the chunks in a bowl,
pour the milk over them, and let soak for 1 hour.
While the bread is soaking, peel the grapes,
place ina bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

 

After 1 hour, squeeze the milk from the bread
and discard the liquid. In a food processor, combine
the nuts, garlic, and bread. With the motor running,
slowly add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream.
Then, with the motor still running, slowly add the
ice water and then the vinegar. Season with salt.

In Spain, this soup is typically perfectly
smooth. To achieve that texture, process the pureed
soup in small batches, running each batch for at least
1 minute. Strain the blended soup through a chinois
(ultrafine-mesh conical sieve) or a double-mesh
sieve. When you taste the soup, it should be velvety,
without any graininess at all.

Refrigerate the soup until very cold, at least
30 minutes or up to overnight, and chill the bowls
for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, cut the
grapes in half lengthwise. Ladle the soup into the
cold bowls, and float some grape halves on top of
each serving. Refrigerate any leftover soup in an
airtight container for up to 2 days.