Chilled Almond and Garlic Soup

This soup was inspired by the garlic soups of Spain, which are usually served hot. The garlic is cooked until it has become irresistibly sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2 large heads garlic
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints milk
  • 2 rounded teaspoons caster sugar
  • 100 g/4 oz ground almonds
  • 1 level tablespoon tomato purée
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3-4 good pinches cayenne pepper
  • 60 ml/2 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Method

Peel the cloves of garlic but keep them whole. Peel the onion and chop roughly. Put the garlic cloves and onion into a large saucepan and add 300 ml/½ pint of the milk. Bring to bubbling, then cover and simmer as gently as you can for about 25 minutes, until the garlic and onion are very soft. Stir in the sugar and ground almonds, then whizz the mixture in a food processor to a smooth paste. Turn the paste back into the pan and stir in the remaining milk. Season generously with salt. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, and then simmer gently, still stirring constantly, for 8-10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool, then chill.

Meanwhile, put the tomato purée, lemon juice, paprika and cayenne pepper into a small saucepan. Heat until almost bubbling and keep it like that, stirring all the time, for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave until cold. Just before serving, spoon the chilled soup into individual bowls. Stir the olive oil vigorously into the cold tomato and paprika mixture and then spoon it in a whirl in each bowl.

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