12–14 large ripe peaches
4 cups diced pickling cucumber
1 small red onion diced
2 small jalapeños seeded and diced
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
¾ cup toasted almonds
2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons high-quality olive oil preferably Spanish
Salt and pepper
1½ cups reserved peaches
⅓ cup cut green onion
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup chopped oregano or marjoram
2 tablespoons chopped mint
¼–⅓ cup good olive oil
1–2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring large pot of water to boil. With small paring knife, make an X at top of each peach, just deep enough to slice skin. Blanch peaches 8–10 seconds and shock in ice bath immediately to chill.
- Peel away skin. Slice flesh away from pits, reserving 1½ cups cut fruit for salsa verde.
- In blender, combine peaches with remaining ingredients and purée until very smooth. Adjust seasoning with sherry vinegar and salt and pepper. Chill at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice crust away from baguette and cut into ½-inch cubes.
- Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake until slightly golden, about 15 minutes, and reserve.
Cut peaches into ¼-inch dice and add remaining ingredients.
Can be made 2–3 hours in advance.
Ladle soup into bowl, top with large spoonful of salsa verde, scatter some croutes, and generously drizzle with olive oil.
- from Chef Phoebe Lawless of Scratch Bakery of Durham, North Carolina