Cashew and Melon Ajoblanco
Although it is traditionally prepared with almonds and seasoned with grapes, this Andalusian and Extremaduran soup has countless variants, which we can adapt to what we have in the pantry and what the season offers. Of humble and ancient origin, it seems to be the basis of what, changing the almond for the newcomer tomato, would eventually become the salmorejo. Depending on the area, ajoblanco usually varies radically, with transitions ranging from liquid soup to a dense emulsion (as in Almería, where it is almost to spread bread)
Generally this recipe is prepared the night before leaving the bread and almonds to soak, although it can also be done directly. To vary the dried fruit, at home I have already prepared this soup with peanuts, nuts and cashews, the version that convinces me the most because of its soft and delicate flavor. For me, the secret is to achieve a light but flavored soup, without the garlic being too present so that it does not repeat and where the added fruit is the one that gives it that touch of freshness that now, with the calorie that falls in summer, fancy
The density will vary depending on the amount of water you add and, of course, if you incorporate more or less bread (or none, if there are diners with gluten intolerance problems). Does this make it no longer the traditional one? It may be, but as the region varies tremendously the recipe - with bread, without bread, with almonds, without them, with milk, with water, with or without vinegar - I think the license to make a cashew nut soup in the style of ajoblanco It is more than allowed. Today we have opted to finish it with melon only - personally I like it that way a lot, without the need for more - but you can use anything you like: fresh cheese, red plum, different herbs, radishes, anchovies in vinegar, smoked sardine, anchovy or brevas For tastes, the flavors.
Remember to put the ingredients soak the night before.
For 5/6 people, more or less 1 liter of ajoblanco
- 1 clove of garlic, without germ
- 200 g of raw or fried cashews
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 50 g of bread spikes or crustless bread
- 600 ml of cold water
- 25 ml of extra virgin olive oil
- 50 ml of soft olive oil
- 400 g of melon
- The night before, leave the mixture of cashews with vinegar, bread, garlic and water in the fridge. Crush everything in the glass of a powerful blender, leaving it for a while to get a silky texture. Once well crushed you can go through a normal strainer - fine - or Chinese.
- When you have the desired texture, it will be time to salt to taste, add vinegar and add the oil, fine thread and beating, so that it emulsifies well.
- Cool the ajoblanco in the fridge to serve it very, very cold.
- Cut the melon into small pieces or, with the help of a punch, make medium sized balls. Serve the melon ajoblanco and, if you like, finish with a drizzle of raw olive oil (or any other of the suggested ingredients, to taste).