Gazpacho. That Spanish, tomato-based, chilled vegetable soup. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than a nice gazpacho on a summer evening. Last month when we were in Sonoma for our son Kyle’s wedding, I had gazpacho twice. At two different restaurants. Lasalette and Glen Ellen Star. They were both delicious, but I gotta say, the one at Glen Ellen Star was the best. Probably the best I’ve ever had. And the presentation was absolutely beautiful…the prettiest red color, with a little purple heirloom basil flower floating in the bowl. OMG. Tony and I went there for lunch, the day after the wedding. I’m not sure if it was that we were still floating on clouds post-wedding, but it was one of the best lunches ever. Gazpacho. The “sheet music” salad with mixed lettuces, cucumber, avocado, tomato, tahini dressing. A wood-fired white pizza with guanciale and arugula and a wood-oven roasted chicken skewer with tzatziki. OMG.
So when we got back to San Diego, the tomato plants in our garden were going crazy. Still on a high from the wedding and post-wedding gazpacho, I decided that would be a very good use of all our tomatoes. I’ve made gazpacho before. Our daughter Ally loves this grilled vegetable one from Bon Appétit several years ago, but it’s a pain in the a** to make. Delicious, but a pain. I thought I remembered seeing a recipe in a recent BA that sounded interesting, with cherries and peaches, in addition to the tomatoes. Found it. They actually call it Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit Soup (not sure why they don’t just call it gazpacho?).
I made it. It was delicous. And so easy (I opted for the frozen cherries). Refreshing with just a touch of spicy from a jalapeño and a touch of sweet from cherries and peach. And it was a beautiful color. I actually served it twice – Tony and I had it the first for a light dinner, with a Caesar salad, and then a couple days later, I brought what was left to a friend’s for gazpacho “shooter” hors d’oeuvres (and talk about a nice presentation…garnished with a fresh cherry skewer!) I think it was even better a couple days later!
Sorry, Ally, this will be the new gazpacho in our house.
Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit Soup (aka Gazpacho)
(Bon Appétit, August 2013)
2 pounds tomatoes (about 4), quartered
1 large English hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into pieces
1 large ripe peach, peeled, halved
1/2 jalapeño, seeded (or with seeds for a spicier soup), chopped
1/2 garlic clove
1 cup fresh (or frozen, thawed) cherries (about 8 ounces), pitted
2 tablespoons (or more) white balsamic or Sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Pulse tomatoes in a blender until finely chopped and transfer to a large bowl.
Pulse cucumber, peach, jalapeño, garlic, and cherries in blender until finely chopped and add to bowl with tomatoes. Mix in vinegar, 1/4 cup oil, 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 cup cold water; season with pepper. Cover and let sit at room temperature 1 hour (I did this and then stuck it in the freezer just to get it chilled…I mean, it’s gazpacho, it needs to be chilled!) or chill at least 12 hours.
Season soup with kosher salt, pepper, and more oil and vinegar, if desired. Serve soup drizzled with oil and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD: Soup can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.