Peach Gazpacho

I’m a big soup eater. I could eat it for lunch every day. It’s frugal, nutritious and the variations are endless. Of course, as the mercury rises, a steamy hot bowl of soup isn’t exactly what I want. Neither is heating up my kitchen with a bubbly pot of stew.

Cold soups to the rescue!

Gazpacho is probably the most ubiquitous cold soup. It is traditionally made with tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic and stale bread. Yes, stale bread. It helps thicken the soup. It is often omitted in favor of a pure, summer vegetable based soup.

I adore a good bowl of gazpacho. As soon as I get my hands on farm-fresh tomatoes, I whip up a giant batch. While I’m enthusiastic about the first few bowls, by the fourth or fifth, I’m ready for something new.

Two things I am planning to do this summer. One, I’m scaling back on making such a giant batch of tomato gazpacho. There is no need to overdo a good thing. Two, I’m branching out to try other cold soups.

Peach Gazpacho

This tasty soup is a nice change from my usual tomato gazpacho. It is bright, healthy and delicious. Add a handful of tortilla chips for the perfect summer lunch.

I try to search out organic peaches. Pesticides easily migrate into the fruit through the soft skin of the peach. When I can’t find local, organic peaches, I buy local non-organic peaches. I prefer them to rock-hard organic peaches shipped from California. They just taste better. Ask your farmer about his/her pesticide practices. Since local peaches don’t have to travel far, farmers can often get by with using less pesticides.

Ingredients

8 peaches
1 medium-large cucumber, unpeeled, seeded if necessary
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: Chopped tomatoes, avocado and fresh cilantro

Method

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make an X with a knife on the bottom of each peach.
  • Drop the peaches into the boiling water for a few minutes. Remove and cool in iced water. The peels should easily slip off. If not, use a knife to peel them.
  • Add the peaches and cucumber to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Be sure to include the liquid.
  • Add onion, garlic, lemon or lime juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes, chopped or sliced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro.

Serves four.