This zesty, refreshing vegan starter tames summer heat
The dog days of summer are here in our part of the world. So let’s cool off with gazpacho, shall we?
This peachy version combines sweet summer fruit with savory cukes and bell peppers, then lets them romp in chipotle fire.
Make this soup ahead of time and pop it into the fridge. Then – chill out!
Recipe: Peach and Chipotle Gazpacho
Traditional gazpacho contains tomatoes, of course. But sometimes we like to replace them with other veggies – or even with fruit, as we do here.
For traditional Gazpacho, we tend to dice most (or all) the veggies to create a chunkier texture. In this dish, we purée most (though not all) of the ingredients for a smoother, creamier soup.
Exact quantities aren’t critical for this recipe. You can even leave out ingredients, or add new ones. If something sounds good to you, it probably will be.
This dish takes 20 to 30 minutes to put together. Then it needs to chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator before serving (2 to 3 hours is better).
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings. Leftovers keep well for 2 or 3 days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 2 to 2½ pounds fresh peaches
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves (or to taste)
- 1 whole chipotle pepper (we used canned – see Notes)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the chipotle can
- 1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons cider vinegar (to taste)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (to taste)
- ¼ to ½ cup water (to taste)
- salt to taste
- Wash and dry the peaches. Set them aside for the moment.
- Peel the cucumber. Cut it in half lengthwise, then use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut one half of the cucumber into small dice (¼ inch or a bit larger) and place the pieces in a medium-size bowl. Cut the other half of the cucumber into rough chunks, and add them to the bowl of a food processor.
- Wash the red bell pepper, then stem and core it. Cut the bell pepper into small dice (¼ inch or a bit larger). Add the pieces to the mixing bowl containing the cukes.
- Peel the garlic cloves and chop them roughly. Add them to the food processor.
- Add the canned chipotle and the adobo sauce to the food processor.
- If using jalapeño peppers: Wash and stem them, then cut them in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful; the oil on these is hot, so keep fingers away from your eyes). Chop the peppers roughly and add them to the food processor. Then wash your hands with soup and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
- Pulse the food processor until the garlic cloves and jalapeño are cut into fine pieces.
- Cut the peaches into halves and remove the pits. Chop about a quarter of the peaches into dice of ½ inch (or a bit less). Add the pieces to the mixing bowl containing the cukes and bell peppers. Chop the rest of the peaches into chunks of an inch, then add them to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is puréed.
- Add the contents of the food processor to the mixing bowl containing the cukes. Stir the contents together. Add cider vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil to taste. Add enough water to thin the soup to the consistency you prefer.
- Add salt to taste (probably 1 teaspoon kosher salt – see Notes). Cover the bowl with shrink wrap and refrigerate the soup for at least an hour (2 to 3 hours is better).
- Serve and enjoy. No garnish is necessary, but see Notes for some ideas.
- We like to garnish this soup with a slice or two of jalapeño pepper (either green or red). You could also chop some cilantro and sprinkle it on. Or use some chopped green onions.
- Should you peel the peaches? We didn’t, and don’t think it’s necessary. But if you want to, here’s the easiest way: Bring a couple of quarts of water to a simmer. Cut an X into the bottom of each peach. Add the peaches to the hot water and let them sit for 10 seconds or so. Remove the peaches from the water, and their skins should come right off.
- If your peaches aren’t fully ripe, you can roast or grill them to enhance their flavor. See our Roast Peach Salad for the method.
- You can vary the amount of cider vinegar and olive oil called for in the recipe. We like more rather than less, but you may disagree.
- When serving the soup, you may want to top each bowl with a “float” of extra-virgin olive oil (maybe a teaspoon). It adds some nice flavor.
- BTW, you could substitute balsamic for cider vinegar.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. Kosher salt has larger crystals than regular table salt, so it’s less salty by volume. If using regular table salt, use about half as much as we suggest. But, as always, season to your taste, not ours.
- Chipotles are smoke-dried jalapeño peppers. They’re spicy, but not over-the-top hot. You can buy them dried, but we prefer to use the canned version.
- In the US, canned chipotle chilies tend to be sold in 7-ounce containers. The adobo sauce they’re packed in has a tangy vinegar flavor.
- What to do with the leftover chipotle peppers (you’ll be using only part of the can for this recipe)? We place the rest of them in a small airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They’ll keep for weeks. You can also freeze them.
- Chipotle adds some nice ping to this dish. We’re big fans of ping, so we always add jalapeño pepper, too. Omit the jalapeño if you think that would be too spicy.
- If the soup isn’t spicy enough, you can always add hot sauce (like Tabasco) at table.
Walking into Doors
“Love the chipotle/jalapeño heat,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Light my fire!”
“Yup, the time to hesitate is through,” I said. “We need more spice in our life!”
“You know that it would be untrue,” said Mrs K R. “If I said I didn’t like this dish.”
“I know that you would be a liar!” I said.
“Do we need an organ solo here?” asked Mrs K R. “Too bad we don’t have one in the house.”
“Of course, with my playing, the kitchen might become a funeral pyre,” I said.
“Well, no time to wallow in the mire,” said Mrs K R. “How about seconds?”
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Roast Peach Salad
Strawberry-Chipotle Soup with Mint
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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill
Soup au Pistou
Summer Pea Soup with Mint
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