Daar is hope kos-bloggers, maar baie min wat volgens my werklik saak maak. Ishay Govender is een van hulle.

Party dae kan mens maar net in wonder staan dat mense wat jy bewonder ook dink jy is ok. So was ek kinderlik opgewonde toe Ishay `n onderhoud met my gedoen het.

Wenner van die Best Food and Wine Blog 2011 by die SA blog awards. Vind haar artikel oor ons bak dag saam hier.

Ishay toer die wereld plat en is `n vryskut skrywer oor al haar ervarings.

Sy was dan hierdie jaar ook 1 van die 200 top jong presteerders in SA soos genomineer deur die Mail & Guardian.

Volg haar gerus by www.foodandthefabulous.com

Ek sluit hier een van haar resepte by wat Ishay se liefde vir reis en ongeklompiseerde kos perfek illustreer.

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Ajoblanco (White Gazpacho)

Ajoblanco or white gazpacho soup, popular around Spain in summer and perfect for our warmer days. While ajo means garlic in Spanish, what makes this soup distinctive are the almonds used.

There are several versions of ajoblanco, some use leeks, some use raw garlic, this is my version. Most recipes do not ask you to toast the almonds, I feel lightly toasting them intensifies the nutty flavour. Pass the soup through a sieve two to three times, if you like and serve very cold. The volume will decrease but the soup will be smoother. I like a slightly grainy texture, it reminds me that almonds, the star ingredient, were used.

Ideally, you would use Spanish almonds, which I brought back from Barcelona earlier this year and used in this recipe (they look different to regular almonds). I used regular flaked almonds for the soup - easier to toast and blend than whole almonds.

I paired the soup with sourdough baguette toasted in the oven until crispy, with a generous grating of Mediterranean Delicacies' Dutch goat's cheese. You can use a strong white cheddar or Gruyere if you prefer.

Ingredients

Serves 2-3

3 thin slices white bread (or baguette), crusts removed

1 cup water (more if needed)

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, smashed

100 g flaked almonds (keep 2 teaspoons aside and toast)

2 large English cucumbers, peeled and cubed (remove all green peel)

3 T champagne or sherry vinegar

4 T extra virgin olive oil

salt and white pepper, to taste

6 white grapes, sliced.

For the Croutons

8 slices sourdough baguette (or other baguette)

1/2 cup grated strong white cheese

Method

1. In a large bowl, add bread and 1/2 cup water. Allow to soak.

2. In a pot, on medium-low heat add the tablespoon of olive oil and the onions. Fry for a minute. Add the garlic and almonds and stir. Do not allow them to catch or burn. When the almonds just start to colour (about 2-3 minutes), remove from heat.

3. Add cubed cucumber, onion and almond mixture and salt to a bowl. Allow to sit for 20 minutes at least- salt will draw out more water.

4. Add remaining water, vinegar, pepper and olive oil and blend in a processor until smooth. Season.

5. Pass through a sieve 2-3 times. Leave in fridge a few hours or overnight.

6. When ready to serve, sprinkle slices of baguette with coarsely grated hard goat's cheese (or Parmesan) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 6-8 minutes or until the bread is brown and crisp. Don't allow the cheese to burn.

Serve soup cold with sliced grapes and toasted almonds and the goat cheese croutons to dip. It's so comforting but refreshing at the same time.