Peach and tomato gazpacho with goat cheese croutons
Grab peaches & heirloom tomatoes while you can!
I have been posting a lot of peach and tomato recipes the last few weeks. I thought last week's Peach and warm goat cheese salad would be the last peach recipe for the season. Then I found myself at the farmer's market staring at a table full of fragrant peaches and a spread of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. The light bulb turned on and I knew I needed to make a batch of peach and tomato gazpacho. Can you blame me? In a few weeks both of these flavor-bursting fruits will be gone. So I say, eat peaches and tomatoes while you can and eat them often.
I am a huge gazpacho fan. I love making gazpacho and I love eating gazpacho when I am dining out because I like to taste the many variations on this delicious summer chilled soup. There is no more refreshing dish to quell the heat of late summer. The best part is there is no cooking required and a big bowl comes together in a matter of minutes. Just be sure to allow plenty of time to chill completely. Most gazpacho is even better the next day. And for that matter, the day after that.
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Chunky vs. smooth gazpacho
There are two main styles of gazpacho: chunky and smooth. In general, I am more of a fan of chunky gazpacho. Not salsa chunky, but a couple steps down from there. The nice thing is it is a matter of personal preference. If you prefer smooth gazpacho, just lean on your food processor a little longer. Or if you like silky smooth gazpacho, process it in a blender instead of a food processor. Don't bother chopping gazpacho by hand; a food processor or blender is essential for this soup.
Use high quality olive oil and Jerez Spanish sherry vinegar
Use a good olive oil and vinegar for this soup. It makes an enormous difference in gazpacho. Good quality oil and vinegar will enhance the flavor of vine-ripened fruit, and poor quality will destroy it. I like Stonehouse's House blend olive oil, but a little of their Blood Orange infused olive oil is particularly delicious in this soup. Gran Capirete Sherry Vinegar is a very good vinegar choice. This vinegar also makes a wonderful salad dressing.
Broiled goat cheese croutons are a lovely way to finish this soup, but are not essential if you don't want to turn on the stove or are avoiding dairy or gluten. Chiffonade a few basil leaves and scatter leaves over the top of the soup and a drizzle a little olive oil to finish.
Do you love gazpacho?
Here are some of my other gazpacho recipes:
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium shallot, peeled
- 1½ pounds peaches, pitted and cut into quarters
- 1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes in assorted colors, chopped into 2" pieces
- 1 handful of basil leaves, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, or orange-infused olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 T Jerez Spanish sherry vinegar
- 1 t kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- 8 baguette slices or gluten-free bread (optional)
- 1 10½ ounce goat cheese log (optional)
- Put the garlic cloves in the food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add the shallot and pulse until finely chopped. Add tomatoes, peaches, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pulse the food processor until everything is blended and you achieve your preferred chunkiness or smoothness. Taste and adjust olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Put in a a stainless steel or glass bowl, cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Best if made one day in advance.
- When ready to serve, heat the broiler to 400 degrees. Toast the baguette slices on one side, flip and toast on the other side. Remove from the oven turn on the broiler. Spread toasted baguette slices with goat cheese. Put cheese covered baguettes under the broiler and toast until cheese is brown and bubbly, 1 - 2 minutes.
- Serve gazpacho in individual bowls topped with a goat cheese crouton, a drizzle of olive oil and a few slices of basil chiffonade.