peach and tomato gazpacho

September has arrived, and with it the routine — if not the cooler weather — of fall. As much as I love summer, autumn is my favorite season, and I think that routine has a lot to do with it. While back-to-school brings hectic mornings, the days and weeks have more of the structure that I crave. The weekends are filled with activities – from football games and kids’ birthday parties to planning for the upcoming holidays and family gatherings.

Because we live in Florida, we are treated to wonderful fruits and vegetables year round, even through the fall and winter months. Our farmers markets may slow down a little, but they never truly stop. We may miss out on some of the traditional summer produce — like watermelon and blackberries — but that’s okay. Because it’s time to move on, you know? I’m ready for fall. I’m craving the comfort foods of autumn…the hearty chili, braised beef short ribs, Brussels sprouts with bacon, satisfying bean soups, and all things pumpkin. Definitely pumpkin pie.

But, again, because we live in Florida, and because today is September 1st, it’s still hot out. And it will be hot out for a while longer. So, I’ve made a no-cook soup to share with you, using some of the best late summer fruits I had on hand. This one won’t heat up your kitchen since the only appliance you’ll need is a blender.

For this gazpacho I used some juicy peaches, gorgeous ripe tomatoes, some basil, and a bit of jalapeno to give a little kick at the end. When served chilled, this cold gazpacho is a refreshing first course to serve with an end of summer meal. Or, you can have it as I did — as a snack on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon after gym workout.

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This is my contribution to September’s roundup of recipes for gourmet, unbound, the collaborative project celebrating Gourmet Magazine’s 68 years of food knowledge. Head over to read the other great posts from the other devotees of Gourmet.

Yield: 4 first course servings.

Peach and Tomato Gazpacho


1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped (4 cups)
1 pound peaches, pitted and chopped (2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno (seeds removed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup water


Pureé two-thirds of tomatoes and half of peaches with shallot, jalapeno, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 teaspoons basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a blender until very smooth, about 1 minute. Force through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. Stir in the amount of water required to reach the consistency you desire. Let chill in refrigerator.

Make tomato peach salsa: Toss together remaining chopped tomatoes and peaches with remaining tablespoon oil, remaining 1/2 tablespoon vinegar, remaining teaspoon chopped basil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl.

Serve soup in bowls topped with tomato peach salsa.

Adapted from this recipe from Gourmet, September 2005.

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10 Responses to “feeding oliver, and a recipe: mashed sweet potatoes”

  1. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon — March 1, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    Mashed sweet potatoes are a favorite at our house. I like to spice them up with a wee bit of adobo sauce from a can that seems to live in my fridge for months on end.

    I’m almost out of my super special Florida honey which makes me sad because I always use it to balance the adobo heat.

  2. JAN HALLQUIST THOMPSON — March 1, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    I love that you won that little battle with Oliver! I woulda fought to the finish myself! My parents felt that way with their children and I felt the same with mine. Today, we’re all pretty considerate, adventurous eaters! How kind of you to follow that with something that you knew would comfort Oliver and let him know all is well, again. I love how you love him!

  3. Macaroni Mama — March 1, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    I love Jan’s comment. I, too, love how you love Oliver by making something he likes.:)

  4. Nelly Rodriguez — March 1, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

    I love mashed sweet potatoes but tend to shy away from the cinnamon in it, just because I never had it growing up. I added cream cheese to my sweet potatoes the other night and my husband was outraged. But…they we’re mighty delicious!

  5. Kiran @ — March 2, 2012 @ 12:55 am

    My mom had just one complain about me as a kid — I was a slow eater. That is all 😀

    Gosh, who doesn’t like a bowl of that mashed sweet potato goodness?! 😀

  6. I am so glad you didn’t cave. I think we can encourage picky eaters if we do. I had one rule; just one bite. If my kids didn’t like it they did not have to eat it but I didn’t prepare anything else just for them. More often then not their hunger won over their refusal to eat and now as adults they seem to have few foods they don’t enjoy.

    They don’t like green bell peppers but as a card carrying member of the ‘Green Pepper Haters Club’ I’m OK with that. 🙂

  7. Paula — March 2, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    I love that you are firm but fair with regards to the meal eating rules with your kids. I was a very fussy eater as a child and raised in a household where we had to eat what was put in front of us, there was never the option of trying a bite or two, just Eat. It. All. before we we allowed to leave the table.

  8. Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 4, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    A wonderful lesson to teach your children. They’ll thank you one day. You’re a good mom. 🙂

  9. I’m SO with you on the eating thing. What age did you start doing that? I feel like with my 1 and a half year old, I have to get her to eat something, but when she gets older I’ll do the same as you. Or am I being too soft?
    These sweet potatoes look great! Love how they aren’t packed with brown sugar and butter (not that that is necessarily a bad thing–but it is good to have healthier everyday recipes).

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — March 4th, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

      It’s hard when they’re that young, Rachel. I was softer when mine were that age, too. But once they’re two and beyond, it’s easier to do. As long as you remember that they won’t starve, it makes it easier.

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