Food and Wine July 2011 - Serves 4

I know most of you aren’t sitting in the heat that I enjoy, but because I do, a cold peach soup sounded so good to me.  When I did a quick little search I found this one and it looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it!  Instead of basil as a garnish you could use Lemon Verbena.  Note* This recipe does have a marinating time of one night.

3 cups sliced peeled Peaches
1/4 cup finely diced peeled Cucumber, plus thin slices for garnish
1/4 cup finely diced Yellow Bell Pepper, plus thin slices for garnish
1/4 cup diced dried Apricots
2 TB Honey
3 TB crumbled fresh Goat Cheese, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 TB Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
Good Salt
1 large Garlic clove
2 cups diced Baguette (1/2”)
Basil leaves, for garnish
Freshly ground Black Pepper

In a bowl, toss the peaches, diced cucumber, yellow pepper and apricots.  Add the honey, 3 TB of goat cheese, 1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar and 2 TB of the olive oil.  Stir in 1 1/2 tsp of salt.  Add the garlic.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Discard the garlic.  Transfer the contents of the bowl to a blender and puree.  Add 1/4 cup of water and puree until very smooth and creamy; add more water if the soup seems too thick.  Season with salt and vinegar.  Refrigerate the soup until very cold, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Add the diced bread and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon transfer the croutons to paper towels and season with salt.  Pour the peach soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the sliced cucumber, sliced bell pepper, goat cheese, croutons and basil.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with black pepper and serve.