I used to have a vague prejudice against cold soups. I’d tasted several gazpachos that were more like V8 or bland salsa than a meal, so I wrote off the whole category of non-hot soups – until a fantastic chilled beet soup changed my mind completely. Now I’m all about these cool customers. Especially right now, when the produce is at its peak, and I will do anything to avoid turning on the stove.
I love a gazpacho that is well-balanced and refreshing: a little sweet, a little acidic, not too heavy on any one flavor. This recipe uses equal parts tomatoes and peaches (or any other stone fruit you have on hand; it’s also delightful with nectarines and apricots).
It’s the perfect heat-wave dinner. Add a crisp glass of white wine, and your “I hate everyone and everything” attitude will slowly start to fade.
- 2 lbs. tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 2 lbs. peaches (or a mix of stone fruit), pitted and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 pieces crusty bread
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon and a splash of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh basil or mint, thinly chopped (optional)
- Set aside 2 tomatoes and 2 peaches and roughly dice. Mix together and refrigerate.
- Blend all the other ingredients, except water, in a blender or food processor.
- Add ½ to 1 cup water to achieve the consistency you like. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar.
- Put a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour the soup into the strainer a bit at a time, using a spatula to press down to push the liquid through. Discard the remaining solids.
- Chill and serve with the reserved diced tomatoes and peaches. Sprinkle with fresh basil or mint (optional).
I used gazpacho recipes from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook as inspiration.