In "The Perfect Peach," a new book by Marcy Masumoto, Nikiko Masumoto and David Mas Masumoto (Ten Speed Press, 2013), the authors celebrate the myriad flavors and ways to serve a peach. I love this peach gazpacho because it is both savory and sweet. The vinegar, garlic and cucumber all help add a piquant layer of flavor. A pretty garnish and tasty topping of avocado and red pepper add another flavor and textural dimension. Serve well chilled in pretty shallow soup bowls. For a bigger group, serve this sunny fruit soup in shooter glasses as your guests arrive for a festive taste of summer.
When the heat is on, I hope you'll try both of these chilled fruit gazpachos. And don't hesitate to change up the fruit. Instead of peaches, try nectarines. If you are in a hurry, use cut up seedless grapes and the mango as garnish for the dessert gazpacho.
Peach Gazpacho: A Savory-Sweet Beginning
Excerped from "The Perfect Peach," by Marcy Masumoto, Nikiko Masumoto and David Mas Masumoto (Ten Speed Press, 2013),
Serves 6 to 8.
6 soft to gushy peaches (about 21/2 pounds), peeled, pitted and quartered
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon champagne or golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Red bell pepper slices and avocado slices, for garnish (optional)
1. In a food processor, combine the peaches, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup water and pulse until coarsely pureed. Thin with the remaining 1/4 cup water if needed for a good consistency. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill thoroughly.
2. Just before serving, taste and adjust the seasoning with more vinegar, salt, and pepper if needed. Stir in the cilantro. Ladle into bowls, drizzle each serving with a little oil, and garnish with the bell pepper and avocado. Serve at once.