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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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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25 Responses to “not in season: blueberry apple crisp”

  1. Lana — February 13, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    Just like you, I try to cook with locally grown produce as much as I can (when I had a garden, it was heaven!), but the most important thing to me is how it tastes. It could be grown in my neighbor’s yard, organically, coddled and caressed every day, if it tastes bland – it’s out.
    I know that I can not find wild blueberries here in SoCal, and those are really the best – nothing can come even close. But I agree, when my kids ask for fruit and veggies, I indulge them.
    I have never made a crisp, or a cobbler, or a fool, even though I really like warm fruity desserts that are easy to make. Maybe yours is going to inspire me enough (I’ll just have to double up on those crunches:)
    Have a great Valentine’s Day!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — February 13th, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

      Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, Lana!

  2. Leigh — February 13, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    Honestly, I care more about having what I want in ANY season than I do about where they were grown. That may be terrible, but I adore cooking with exotic ingredients that we just don’t HAVE around here. That being said, the Plant City strawberries that M picked up yesterday are already almost all gone. So I think it’s a balance. A delicious balance. 😉

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — February 13th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

      That reminds me, I need to buy strawberries. 🙂

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  4. Jean — February 13, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

    I love, love blueberries and I love using them in crisps like you do. I also like that you mixed in apples, another crisp favorite for me. Honestly, I don’t always have time to go to the Farmer’s Market on Sundays so I would say that some of my produce is not locally grown. I don’t mind it either.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — February 13th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

      I hear you on the time issue. Our Farmer’s Market is open on Mondays from 4-7, but if you don’t get there early, all the good stuff is gone. I can rarely get their before 6:30. Sometimes the grocery store is the only option.

  5. Kim - Liv Life — February 13, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    We try to buy local as well, but sometimes those berries just call our name. We are indeed lucky to be able to procure these out of season fruits just for that reason, and you used them well! We found some beautiful organic berries a few weeks back at Costco, and yes, ours were from Chile too. But I bought tons of them and have filled my freezer with zip bags of organic berries. Enjoy!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — February 13th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

      It’s hard to pass up a good deal in these days when we all need to stretch our dollars further. I think that buying in bulk – at Costco or somewhere similar – and freezing makes good sense. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Brian @ A Thought For Food — February 13, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    Don’t worry, Love… we’ve all done the same thing. And it looks like you made the most of the situation with this terrific recipe. Such a comforting dish!

  7. What a perfect winter dessert! I do love locally grown produce but it is nice that Chili provides an alternative to get wonderful fruits and veggies when ours are not yet in season.

  8. Carrie Suvajdzic — February 14, 2011 @ 4:56 am

    Oh man that looks good! I love blueberries and can’t get those big sweet ones here where I am. I agree, too, that encouraging good eating habits in your kids takes precedence over a LOT of things.

    For me eating local is all about having a really big freezer and stocking up in season. You have to be on your toes during the growing season but it’s a lot cheaper that way. So when you go buy strawberries buy enough to last until next spring!

  9. Jason Phelps — February 14, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    I would have been mad as well. Luckily we had berries leftover from last year’s winemaking in the freezer. I used them a couple of times over the weekend. Made me yearn for fresh ones!

    Jason

  10. Valerie Riley — February 14, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    I want to try this recipe. We are huge blueberry fans! Brent’s dad owns an organic u-pick blueberry farm in Melrose. It is a great family atmosphere and my kids love going. I will let you know when it is time and perhaps you can join us out there for picking? We usually pick enough for the year. I am down to about 5lbs left, so it can’t get here fast enough for me! They usualy open Memorial Day. Thanks for this recipe! -V

  11. Jaclyn — February 14, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

    i hate getting fooled at the farmer’s market! i try to buy local produce from the farmer’s market, so it’s definitely a bit dissapointing to find out that what you thought was grown a few miles away was actually flown in. bummer indeed.

    but on the plus side, fruit crisps are probably the simplest, most delicious delivery system for fruit in the whole world! i love mine with lots and lots of freshly whipped cream on top.

  12. DessertForTwo — February 14, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    I agree, I think you made the right call. If kids are reaching for antioxidant-rich blueberries, give ’em what they want. Maybe you could buy extra blueberries this summer and freeze them for future use? Sounds like a win-win situation!

  13. Lael Hazan @educatedpalate — February 15, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    Lovely dish and thought provoking post. Do we buy organic broccoli that has been harvested 10,000 miles away or do we buy from the conventional farm across the road? Difficult choices, at least we are thinking about them. It becomes even more daunting when we realize that some producers, i.e.: disreputable olive oils, will grow their product in one country and produce it in another.

  14. Aggie — February 15, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    I buy those “winter haven” blueberries all the time! I have to go relook at my container Merry!!

    What a beautiful dessert. I can’t ever get enough blueberries. We are eating them like crazy lately since they have been on sale. We dipped them in chocolate last night, YUM!

  15. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — February 17, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    I have pondered the same question… Living where I do in PA, there’s very little available between November and March that is fresh or local. Around this time of year, I usually get sick of eating out of the freezer and start to crave fresh fruits and veggies. Just last week, I bought some strawberries and blueberries that I knew weren’t local, but I just needed some fresh fruit. I do my best to eat local as much as I can, but sometimes I just have to let it go.

    This blueberry apple crisp looks wonderful! Now I’m wishing that I still had some of those blueberries from last week hanging around. 🙂

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — February 17th, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

      Jen – Sometimes we just have to give in to the beauty that lives in the produce section, right? Miss you!

  16. Joy — February 17, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    That looks wonderful. I love love blueberries.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — February 17th, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

      Thanks, Joy!

  17. Lucy — February 18, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    I wouldn’t stress about those blueberries, either. And I’d buy a second pint to make blueberry scones. Love this crisp – I always have vanilla yogurt on hand, so I’d put a spoonful of yogurt on top.

  18. Pingback: some days you need pie: blueberry pie | The Merry Gourmet

  19. Beth — December 20, 2016 @ 4:07 pm

    Topping recipe is missing. Punted from your seasonal crisp topping recipe.

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