Eight ingredients, plus pantry staples. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a treat for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
This week's heat wave in New York is conjuring memories of my childhood in the humid, cicada-buzzed suburbs of North Carolina, where the rippling summer shimmer of hot blacktop was accompanied by a ceaseless sense of thirst—a sensation that demanded something cold, something sweet and something quenching.
This week, chilled peach soup breaks the heat. Cool off with a simple recipe that blends (literally) ripe peaches, refreshing mint, a bite of ginger and a touch of basil.
When preparing this soup, chop the peaches coarsely, and stop the blending before the soup turns into a frappé. The recipe also calls for a tablespoon of honey, and I recommend using raw, organic mānuka honey (a monofloral honey made from mānuka bush pollen in New Zealand and Australia, and which has high levels of B vitamins, calcium and methylglyoxal, an antibacterial compound). Add a grown-up kick with a dollop of honey-rum whipped cream.
I keep a few jars of this soup in the fridge for an on-the-go healthy treat. It's also perfect for picnics, which means you probably know what comes next: rosé time.
I tasted three French rosés, each made from different grape varieties, with this recipe. A light, easy-drinking Corsican blend offered strawberry aromas and flavors along with light stone fruit notes and a clean, minerally finish. A Cabernet-Merlot blend from Bordeaux showed a bit more weight, with cherry flavors. A Languedoc-Roussillon Malbec was positively plump with spice and candied red fruit, along with a bit of tannic grip (which overpowered the lightness of the soup).
With the soup, the Corsican rosé really pulled out the richness of the peach, accentuating its delicacy. It's just the pairing for a refreshing cool-down on a hot summer day.
Pair with a light rosé like Domaine Barcelo Île de Beauté Rosé 2015 (88 points, $10) from Corsica.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Approximate food costs: $10
1. In a blender or food processor, combine 4 peaches, yogurt, 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey, light cream, lime juice and ginger. Use the "pulse" or "chop" option to avoid liquefying the peaches. The final consistency should be more irregular in texture than a frappé.
2. Transfer to sealable storage container(s) and stir in the basil. Seal and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour to achieve desired coolness and consistency.
3. In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream, remaining honey and rum with a whisk or electric mixer until the cream is fluffy, with soft peaks, but not firm.
4. Thinly slice the remaining peach. Serve soup with a garnish of cream, peach slices and fresh mint. Serves 2.