This Vegan Spanish Ajoblanco Soup Is from the Heart of Meshek Barzilay's Kitchen

I was born in 1985 in Jerusalem to a vegetarian family with a large preoccupation with healthy food and nutrition. I grew up hanging out and working in my family’s vegetarian and vegan restaurant. They were among the first people in Israel to open such a place, and the restaurant was the basis and anchor of the family. During my years in the family business, I was exposed to the variety of roles and professions in the restaurant world and I realized that I like to deal with food and to touch people through cooking.

Over the years I have experienced different cooking styles and techniques and studied the culinary backgrounds of my father from South Africa and my Moroccan mother. I like to combine different tastes and techniques to create interesting and innovative cuisine.

In vegan cooking, I found new challenges to accessibility. I had to learn to create dishes with unfamiliar and challenging materials in order to reach levels of taste and quality that will appeal to all diners and may create a new discourse about food and the sources we consume.

I come from a vegetarian background from childhood and have experienced first hand the effects of healthy and conscious food on my body and have always aspired to be among the pioneers in the field. In the last year, I have been managing the kitchen of Meshek Barzilay and found a place where I can continue to develop and give to a growing audience that is morally and gastronomically aware.

Vegan Ajo Blanco Soup

Ingredients

Soup

  • 150 grams whole wheat bread
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup quality olive oil
  • 150 grams peeled almonds, ground well
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • pinch of Atlantic sea salt
  • white pepper

Cream of Bell Pepper

  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves

Instructions

For the Soup

  1. Soak the bread in almond milk and apple vinegar overnight. 

  2. In the morning, blend the bread and almond milk mixture in a food processor until you get a smooth paste.

  3. Add the ground almonds, olive oil, garlic, and spices and blend well. 

For the Cream of Bell Pepper

  1. Broil the peppers 10 minutes on a high heat in the oven and then transfer to a closed container to let them sweat until they can be peeled easily. Sprinkle them with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar and rest for about an hour until it cools.

  2. Puree the peppers and garlic into a cream and season with Atlantic sea salt.

To Serve

  1. Serve chilled, garnished with optional roasted almonds, crackers, and basil leaves. 


Republished with permission by Omri Sibul from From the Grapevine

Image Credit: Omri Sibul

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