Chilled Tomato and Peach Soup

Recipe provided by Sheri Castle

Confession: this recipe is really quick and easy, but not fast. To get the full effect of this delicious combination of fruity flavors, the soup must be deeply chilled for a long while, at least overnight and preferably longer. (Refrigeration usually ruins tomatoes, but it works here.)
The soup keeps for days, making it just right for a quick refresher when one is about to perish from heatstroke.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes
1 1/4 pounds ripe peaches
2 jalapeños or other chiles, or to taste
2 tablespoons white balsamic or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped shallot or sweet onion
2 tablespoons excellent fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup water, as needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


You will need 1 cup finely diced tomatoes, 1 cup finely dic
ed peaches, and one of the jalapeños to make a
relish for garnish, so set aside enough whole tomatoes a
nd peaches to make it.

Core the remaining tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise. Discard any pockets of green gloppy seeds. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place them in a blender. Peel, pit, and coarsely chop the peaches and add them to the blender. Coarsely chop the remaining jalapeño and add it to the blender. Add the vinegar, shallot, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Purée until very smooth; be patient, this can take up to 2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to get it moving. Strain the purée through a fine sieve into a large bowl or jar. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least overnight.

Just before serving, finely dice the reserved tomatoes, peaches, and jalapeño. Place in a small bowl and toss with the lemon juice and about 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, check the seasoning and then ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Spoon a little of the tomato and peach relish into the center and serve straightaway.

Note: To transform this soup into a light entrée or first course, place a few well-seasoned cooked shrimp in the bowl when you add the relish