Come mid-August, peaches are a big deal in Colorado. Hailing from the warm, desert-like climate of the western slope, Palisade peaches are sweet and juicy – everything you could want from a peach. And they’re in abundance. Sure, you can find them in the grocery store, but it’s certainly more fun to pick up a peck of peaches from a roadside stand, the local farmer’s market or directly from the orchard itself. As you travel around western Colorado, you can also pick finished peach products — my favorites being peach & habanero pepper jam and peach pie. At home, I like to incorporate peaches into my late-summer, early fall repertoire to capitalize on all the juicy goodness. You may have come across my recipe for peach pizza, featuring a homemade crust, vegan mozzarella, broiled peaches, balsamic reduction and fresh arugula. It’s a tantalizing combination of savory and sweet. Today though, I bring you a new twist on an old classic — peach gazpacho.
What I love most about this recipe is the way that the sweetness of the peaches is offset by the spice of the peppers I put into the soup. I use one Anaheim pepper, a mild pepper which gives the soup a sweet/smoky flavor. I also throw in a Serrano pepper to give the soup a little more heat. Serrano peppers rate a 3 out of 5 on the pepper heat scale, putting them somewhere between a jalapeño pepper and a habanero pepper. I grow Serrano peppers in my garden in the summer, so it makes this gazpacho all that much more special. If you don’t like that much heat, you can leave this one out, or if you’re serving a group with varied palettes, just finely dice the peppers and put them on the side as a garnishment. That’s one of the pluses of gazpacho. All of the ingredients are raw, so adding these after the fact is a good way to create some options.
In addition to the main feature ingredient – peaches – and the peppers, I add red onion and garlic. For the cooling sensation that makes gazpacho so addictive, I use an English cucumber. It just had a more mild flavor than a regular cucumber, but they’re not always available so if you’re wanting this soup but can’t find an English cucumber go ahead and make it with a regular, slicing cucumber. Finish the recipe with some sherry vinegar and some salt and pepper.
I played around with garnishments for quite awhile, trying to find the perfect complement. I tried charred jalapeños (I am always looking for ways to add heat), mint, pumpkin seeds and flavored olive oils, but settled on something simple — diced peaches and fresh strawberries with a little bit of sweet basil. I think it’s perfect, but if you make this soup and try something else, please post it in the comments! I would love to hear your ideas!!
Gazpacho is best served after the flavors have had time to meld. If I am really craving it, I make it in the morning and have it for dinner that night. It’s best after it has rested overnight though. I find that it makes a great light dinner or I serve it as an appetizer for a harvest-inspired dinner.
Get your late summer on with this fresh peach gazpacho. It's a sweet chilled soup with just a little bit of kick.
- 6-8 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
- 1 Anaheim pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 English cucumber, peeled & roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 2-3 t. sherry vinegar
- Salt, to taste
- Chopped peach, strawberries and sweet basil leaves as garnishments
- Step 1 Put the roughly chopped peaches into your blender and blend until condensed (I do this just to create more space for the rest of the ingredients).
- Step 2 Add the peppers, onion, cucumber, garlic clove and sherry vinegar. Blend until smooth.
- Step 3 Put covered, blended soup into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Step 4 Serve chilled with optional garnishments.
What’s in my kitchen that made this recipe even easier?
I hesitate to say it because I know that these blenders are pretty pricey, but they are such an incredible kitchen tool. I use mine every single day, often multiple times are day. I make smoothies for breakfast and soups and sauces for lunch and dinner. And, I tried different blenders. This one has my heart though.
Have you tried this recipe for peach gazpacho? What did you think? Did you change anything? Tell us about it.
Don’t forget to showcase your stuff on Instagram with the hashtag #herbivoreskitchen if you try this recipe!