Peach gazpacho squeezes out the last drops of summer by adding heat loving tomatoes, cucumber and basil to one of summer’s most beloved fruits; at least here in GA. In my imagination peach gazpacho is country tomato gazpacho’s refined city cousin. Its destiny is to be sipped out of a cup at a luncheon, daintily eaten with a spoon at a bridal shower, or served in a shot glass as an amuse-bouche in a fancy restaurant.
Every ingredient is intentional:
- Spanish sherry vinegar, tomatoes, cucumbers, and garlic keep the gazpacho name legit.
- Grapes add a bit of sweetness and at the same time quietly make adding water or other liquid unnecessary.
- Basil wins over mint to keep this distinctly fruity gazpacho savory.
- As much as I often like to switch out lemons for limes in recipes needing a drop of citrus, lemon is added to the peach gazpacho specifically because it adds a hint of citrus without as distinct a flavor as lime would.
- The color of the gazpacho varies depending on the variety of tomatoes and basil added. For a lemony peach hued gazpacho add sungold cherry tomatoes. For a deep orange gazpacho add plummy dark heirloom tomatoes. Purple basil pairs well with whatever shade the soup becomes. The keep the basil from changing the color of the gazpacho too much, it’s cut it into thin strips and mixed in after pureeing the rest of the ingredients.
I’ve included some peach gazpacho garnish ideas in the recipe with the caveat that I typically don’t add it for a number of reasons. I’m specific (some might say picky!) when cooking and peach gazpacho garnish is no exception:
- Often I just want to make the gazpacho and be done with it without fussing over garnish. All the ingredients are whirred in the blender, so the gazpacho can be made in minutes. The garnishes require attention and take just about as long to assemble. I do take the time to make garnish for the wow factor when serving company though.
- More often I intentionally don’t add garnish because the gazpacho flavors are subtle and garnishes can distract from and distort this delicate balance. Except for the almonds which add flavor and crunch, the rest of the garnish ideas are flavors already in the gazpacho to lessen the dilution of flavor.
- Practically speaking, I like to drink gazpacho and it’s a bit trickier to do if I add garnishes.
- On a related note, this gazpacho is purposefully smooth in the first place because chunky fruit gazpacho seems to invite a reference or comparison to the more commonly made sweet fruit soup or even to a salsa. Peach gazpacho deserves its own niche.
Whether you choose to garnish or not, peach gazpacho can be made in the middle of summer, but to me its special purpose for existing is as a perfect antidote to the end of summer blues.
Peach Gazpacho Recipe
4 cups chopped peaches
1 ½ cup chopped and seeded cucumbers
1 ½ cup chopped seedless grapes
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped red onion
¼ cup Spanish sherry vinegar
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp diced garlic
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (leaves stacked, rolled lengthwise and cut into thin strips)
2 Tbs roasted slivered almonds
1 Tbs each diced peaches, cucumber, grapes, and tomatoes mixed with 1 tsp Spanish sherry vinegar, 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sugar, and a pinch of salt
1) Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Make an X on the bottom peaches and tomatoes before adding to the simmering water. Take out after 30 seconds. Remove peel from peaches and tomatoes then chop and add to blender.
2) Add remaining ingredients except basil to blender and puree until smooth.
3) Add basil and stir
4) Chill before serving.
5) Add garnish if desired before serving.