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PEACH & TOMATO GAZPACHO
For the last six months or so I have been in a state of arrest. It seems as though I did a great job of burning myself out last year, and now this year is paying the price. As a person who loves to complain, I unfortunately have a very low tolerance for people who complain, so I won’t say much else. I’ll just say that as I am sure is the case with many of you, things have not been easy. I apologize wholeheartedly for my absence. Here is something new.
Right now, in Pennsylvania, we are in early peach and tomato season and will be enjoying these fine fruits of summer for the next couple of months. Last year, I was smart enough to pre-order fifty pounds of peaches from The Peach Truck. They were the best peaches I had ever had and lent themselves to many a baked good as well as jam, salsa, and this beautiful and impressive gazpacho that I came up with around this time last summer. The Peach Truck will be making its way back through Pittsburgh at the end of July and beginning of August. I highly recommend partaking. A just-as-good alternative is any farmer’s market. I browsed my local market this past weekend and there were peaches as far as the eye could see. Pick up more than you need, use as many as you want and freeze the rest. Frozen peaches keep for months and are incredible in smoothies and COLD SOUPS.
The companion, the co-star, and the other beautiful fruit is the tomato. In my opinion, it is the better and more important fruit. The tomato is extremely versatile and it is quite possible that there is nothing better on earth than an in-season tomato. So much so that I have almost entirely quit eating tomatoes out of season. It’s just not worth it. Find the nicest and best tomatoes you can find and eat them every day.
This gazpacho was born out of my necessity to use a large portion of my fifty-pound peach surplus during the exact time at which I found myself with a flat of heirloom tomatoes. “I guess I just blend all this up?” That is exactly what I did, and man alive! It knocked my socks off. This is one of the easiest soups and simplest recipes I have ever made. Because there are so few ingredients and we aren’t doing much with them, it’s important to use the best quality ingredients available to you. It will pay off big time in the finished product.
PEACH & TOMATO GAZPACHO
with whipped herb & honey ricotta
1 large garlic clove
1 two-inch knob of ginger
1 lb. (4 or 5) peaches
1 lb. (3 or 4) tomatoes
1 cup olive oil
1 cup cold water
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. kosher salt
½ cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp. honey
5 sprigs tarragon, mint, or basil
1 tbsp. water
½ tsp. kosher salt
Place all gazpacho ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth. Add more cold water if needed to reach your desired consistency. Salt to taste. Place the soup in the fridge to cool for at least one hour and up to overnight.
In a blender, whip the ricotta, honey, herbs, water and salt, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula and blending until the mixture is completely smooth. There should be no lumps left in the ricotta. This topping can alternatively be made with sour cream, yogurt, or coconut cream.
Serve gazpacho cold, topped with whipped ricotta, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and chopped herbs. Gazpacho will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days and freezer for 3 months.
*if you feel like you want to strain the gazpacho before serving, go ahead. I did not strain mine and do not think it’s necessary.
Thank you to everyone who has checked in on me in the last few months and everyone who has been so patient with me. Thank you for sticking by me. I love you. I hope you’re having the best possible 2022 with all of the doom looming. I am very happy to be back in your inboxes with new issues of the mailer and I am looking forward to sharing some exciting summer recipes. As of right now, I plan to jump back in to making soup for sale in the fall, when it starts getting chillier. For now, I will be doing my best to take it easy and try to enjoy the summer. I am always available for a small batch or a conversation. DM or email me anytime. I hope you can jump in a river this week. But don’t jump in any city rivers, you know better than that.