As part of the Malaga Gastronomy Festival last Saturday there was a workshop on the secrets of making an authentic ajoblanco (a chilled almond and garlic soup).
Experts at the event explained that the base for this soup (and for gazpacho) is simply bread, oil, garlic, vinegar and salt to which other ingredients are then added. For the ajoblanco, a very traditional dish that was once a welcome refreshment for labourers, slivers of peeled almonds are ground together in a pestle and mortar with soaked, stale bread. Little by little olive oil is added to the mortar along with the rest of the ingredients to produce a thick liquid. “It is better if it isn’t ground too finely and the crusts are left on the bread,” pointed out the founder of the Asociación de Mujeres Cocineras AMUCO, Guadalupe Montejo.
Although it is recommended that only the oil from the Hojiblanca variety of olive is used, other types of olive oil can be substituted.
The soup is usually chilled and served garnished with white grapes. Alternative additions to the traditional recipe include slices of mango and chopped apple. Other more contemporary recipes suggest serving the soup hot or using it as a sauce to accompany cod.