Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Renaissance Pine Nut Soup

I bet at some point you’ve tasted a White Gazpacho or ajo blanco as they call it in Cordoba. It is thick and creamy and made much like red gazpacho, minus the tomatoes – but including bread, olive oil, vinegar and a ton of garlic, maybe egg yolks. It’s garnished with bits of apple and raisins usually. There is a riot of flavors in this soup but it can be utterly delicious. But people tell you it’s the historic ancestor of gazpacho. Well, I don’t think so exactly. Or at least I’ve never seen anything exactly like it in the past. But some things come close. Here’s one that definitely captures 16th century taste preferences: take out the garlic and vinegar, add sugar and rosewater. I know it’s SO unhip nowadays, but I think this comes much closer. And frankly, it is fabulous.

Juan Vallés Regalo de la Vida Humana pp. 623-4

Escudilla de piñonada

Take a good quantity of pine nuts which are well cleaned and white and as much of blanched almonds, and put all together in a stone mortar, moistening the pestle of the mortar with rose water or with broth so it doesn’t oil up, and then being well crushed loosen it with chicken broth and pass through a sieve, and then put it in a clean pot and add to it sugar and cook stirring always with a pestle until it thickens, remove from the fire and leave to rest a little covered with a cloth and over the plates, sprinkle sugar.


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CJ - Food Stories said...

This soup looks great ... Never heard of it before :-)