Buttermilk Cucumber Gazpacho

Buttermilk Cucumber Gazpacho

Time: 25 minutes plus cooling time.   Yield: 4-6 servings

3⁄4 cup whole blanched almonds
4 oz. rustic white bread, crust removed, bread cut into chunks
2 1⁄2 lb. Kirby or regular cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 4 3⁄4 cups), plus 1 unpeeled cucumber, diced, for serving (about 9 cucumbers total)
2 small garlic cloves
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3⁄4 cup cold water, plus more if needed
4 scallions, sliced, for serving
1⁄2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread whole almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven until brown and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. Place bread in a bowl, and cover with cold water. Let stand 10 minutes. Squeeze out and discard liquid.

3. Purée half of each of the whole almonds, bread, peeled cucumbers, and garlic in a blender. Add half of each of the oil and lemon juice, and purée. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the other half of the ingredients.

4. Stir in buttermilk, salt, and pepper. Add water; if a thinner consistency is desired, add more water. Pass through a medium sieve. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. If desired, thin with water before serving. Serve cold. Drizzle with oil, and serve with diced cucumber, scallions, and parsley.