She’s mad but she’s magic. There is no lie in her fire. – Charles Bukowski
The summer heat is overwhelming. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I welcomed the warmer days with open arms? Just a few weeks later and I already dream of stormy nights and chilly mornings. Though the sunshine feels soothing for the soul. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the extra slice of happiness. Because that’s what brighter days and longer evenings do, right? They conjure a smile on your face. You are more cheerful than on gloomy days. More energised and full of ideas. At least that’s how I feel on most days and then again I have days when I simply want to stay in bed. Because that’s what happens when there are sunny days week after week. You get to a point when all that brightness just doesn’t disperse that gloomy feeling inside you.
It is on those days that I reach for food that nourishes my body. In winter it’s an easy choice. I love soups. It’s my go-to comfort food and I can thank Turkish lentil soup for saving many of my gloomy days. In summer, it’s always been more of a struggle to find food that calms me down. I never considered soup to be an option because something warm is the last thing I want on a hot day. And though I had chilled soup before I never thought about making my own cold soup. That was until recently when watermelon gazpacho started to be a thing on Social Media.
Now I love watermelon but I’m currently adding it to all my morning smoothies as a refreshing base. Despite I imagined watermelon gazpacho to be a little bit too sweet for a dinner. So I made peach gazpacho. Or better said peach and tomato gazpacho. And the moment I had my first spoon of that chilled soup I realized that I missed out on many comforting summer evenings.
I actually had my first gazpacho many years ago on a trip to Spain. They said it was one of the hottest summers in decades that year. Back then I wasn’t a foodie yet. Though I always loved food and didn’t know much about it at that time. It must have been the first time I even heard of gazpacho. Or even the concept of cold soup. I remember that the thought of eating it didn’t feel very appealing. But there wasn’t much of a choice at 45°C (113°F). Again, what I didn’t know then was that gazpacho was not a cooked soup that just went cold. Honestly I wasn’t a fan. And that’s past tense. Because as they say: “Sometimes a little change is a good thing”. So 10 years later and I’m in love with gazpacho.
The original Spanish recipe for gazpacho calls for onions. And even though I love a spicy kick neither me nor my boyfriend can handle raw onions. Well, our stomachs seems to dislike them. So I replaced the onions with a good heap of chilli flakes. I also only replaced half the normal amount of tomatoes with peaches and added an extra cucumber as I didn’t want the peach gazpacho to taste too sweet. I instead added a few slices of peaches on top with some avocado and fresh basil (not pictured as I forgot it for my photo session).
Spanish Peach & Tomato Gazpacho (Chilled Summer Soup)
- 2 juicy peaches, cubed
- 2 ripe heirloom tomatoes (or any other round large type), cubed
- 1 small / ½ large cucumber, peeled and cubed
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ - 1 tsp chili flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup/ 120 ml ice cold water
- *optional ice cubes
- ½ avocado, cubed
- ½ peach, sliced
- a few fresh basil leaves, sliced
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- *optional: some extra chili flakes
- Simply add all soup ingredients to a blender and blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes. Taste test and add more chilli, garlic or water to your soup. Add some ice cubes and blend again if you want to serve it immediately.
- Strain soup through a sieve, pour to a glass jug, jars or a large bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Before serving top each bowl of soup with sliced peaches, cubed avocado, fresh basil and extra chilli flakes (optional). Enjoy a small portion as a starter or with a slice of toast as a main dish.