Perfect Summer Peach Gazpacho

This is just a delicious beginning to any summer meal. You can make this in advance and serve chilled as a first course, or main course for a light meal. It’s so easy to make. This recipe was adapted from the original published in the Washington Post. I like a little spice, so there is hint of hot in this “chill” dish. Eat, enjoy, relax - the long summer days won’t last!

Peach Gazpacho

6-8 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, halved

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

1 Tbsp champagne or white balsamic vinegar (use any type if you don’t have these)

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1/2 tsp sea or pink himalayan salt (use any if you don’t have these)

1 small jalepeño pepper, seeded, cut in half (use gloves if sensitive)

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/2-3/4 C water

2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Red bell pepper slices for garnish

Diced avocado for garnish

Combine all ingredients (except 1/4 C of the water) in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. If too thick, add a little of the reserved water at a time to desired thickness. Let the blended soup chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. When ready to serve, garnish with any or all of the listed options above.

Notes: Adding a small jalepeño pepper adds just a little hotness. Peppers can vary however, so if you are sensitive, omit this, or add half a pepper the first time you make the soup and adjust. I did this, but found 1 pepper hit the mark for detectable hotness, but still allowed the delicate peach and cucumber flavors to come through.

For easy peach peeling, score the bottom of each peach in an X shape. Place peaches in a bowl with just boiled or very hot water, just long enough for the skin on the bottom to release. Drain, and peel when cool enough to handle, then peel.

A very refreshing chilled soup that will encourage you to linger at the patio table on a warm summer day.

A very refreshing chilled soup that will encourage you to linger at the patio table on a warm summer day.