I am currently swimming in peaches. I have loads of them from the fruit I receive in my CSA farm share weekly. They are gorgeous. Firm fruit that yields to the slightest squeeze. Perfectly ripe. The kind of ripe that when you bite into one abundant juice dribbles down your face. The juice is so sweet you don’t want to miss a drop of it.
At this time of year so many fruits become ripe at once. My fridge is well-stocked and even if I were to forgo all other forms of food to become a temporary Fruitarian, I’d have too much. There is of course canning or freezing to save them for later but over and above those options I wanted to make a few dishes featuring them and something ‘unexpected’, my favorite kind of cooking!
When cooking, and doing pretty much everything else, I strive to do something out of the box. I had begun to flirt with the idea of a soup, slightly chilled, not overly sweet and spiced differently than one would expect. For fun I put out a call to the Boulder Locavore Facebook Page readers to see what THEY would do with pounds and pounds of peaches on their hands. Human creativity never ceases to amaze. Here are some of their ideas of what they’d do:
Peach and Chicken Kabobs
Swap peaches for a Bon Appétit Pickled Nectarine Salad with Burrata
Peach Upside Down Cake
Peach and Prosciutto Pizza
Peach Basil or Peach Rosemary Pie
Peach/blueberry Bread Pudding with Maple Sauce
Moonshine (love that)
With tomatoes in Panzanella
Caramelized Peach-Pumpkin Shortcake with sweet Rosemary Whipped Cream
Peaches on Flatbread Pizza with rosemary, mozzarella, olive oil base and prosciutto topped with parmesan and arugula
Grilled Peaches on natural sugar cane skewers
Chopped Peach Salsa
Spiced Peach Butter
Do I not have the most fabulous readers on the planet?! Of course I do; you are one! Aren’t you hungry now? I’m now hoping for an extra long peach season to try all of these suggestions (though I don’t even know where to start on the ‘moonshine’; don’t I need an old bathtub for that?).
At the time these fantastically creative ideas came in I was well down the road with my soup. Simple, quick, embracing the indescribable flavor of the ripe peaches, with a slightly tangy compliment of lemongrass and a bit of crème fraiche. I could easily drink a gallon of it!
This unexpected peach soup is heightened by the addition of citrusy-tangy lemongrass and ginger. The flavor of the ripened peaches takes center stage and is complimented by a light addition of cream. It's light, flavorful, using only the natural sweetness of the peaches. Since all peaches are not equally sweet, I recommend tasting the peaches used and if needed add a bit of sugar, agave or honey to the saute phase to ensure the soup meets your sweetness preferences.
- 1 ½ tablespoon unsalted Butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons Lemongrass Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Powder
- 4 large Peaches, ripe yet firm, peeled, pitted, roughly chopped (they will be pureed later)
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- Garnish: Crème Fraiche or Sour Cream
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the lemongrass powder and ground ginger. Sauté to combine and until aromatic (2-3 minutes).
- Add the peaches and continue to sauté over medium heat to fully combine the spices with the peaches and allow the peaches to soften slightly (about 5 minutes). Peaches can be mashed as they cook with a cooking spoon.
- Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a blender and puree. Return to the saucepan.
- Over very low heat, add the heavy whipping cream and the kosher salt. Stir to fully combine. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.
- Allow to cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. Add a small spoonful (teaspoon sized) of crème fraiche to the top of the soup before serving.