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Almond Soup with Saffron and Apples



  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 cup blanched whole almonds (3 1/2 ounces)
  3. 2 large garlic cloves
  4. 6 slices country bread (6 ounces), crusts trimmed, bread cut into chunks
  5. 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  6. Pinch of dried thyme
  7. 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  8. 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced
  11. 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the almonds and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the almonds and garlic to a plate. Add the bread to the saucepan and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, combine about two-thirds of the bread with the almonds, garlic, saffron and thyme and process until finely ground. Add 1 cup of the stock and process until smooth.
  3. Return the almond mixture to the saucepan. Add the remaining 4 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the soup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, finely dice the remaining fried bread. Serve the soup in shallow bowls, garnished with the diced bread, apples and parsley.