Almond Soup with Saffron and Apples
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
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- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup blanched whole almonds (3 1/2 ounces)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 6 slices country bread (6 ounces), crusts trimmed, bread cut into chunks
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- Pinch of dried thyme
- 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced
- 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, finely dice the remaining fried bread. Serve the soup in shallow bowls, garnished with the diced bread, apples and parsley.