(This post is part of a series that begins here.)
I’m going to preface this post with the admission that I have a bias against cold soup. Just the thought kind of skeeves me out. To me, all that is good and holy in the world can be summed up in a rich, brothy bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. Chill that, and it all goes to hell. Yes, I know, that is not the way a cold soup is done at all, but that is the image that I cannot shake. I just thought I should let you know, full disclosure and all that.
Add to that the fact that I’m not a huge peach fan. Oh, I’ll eat them when they land in my CSA basket or farm share, but I don’t seek them out. Their floral scent and cloying flavor is just a bit too much. So, yeah, peach soup didn’t thrill me.
That said, I try not to let my preconceptions get in the way of trying new things, especially when I am someone’s guest. I’m a strong proponent of at least tasting anything offered to you that does not against your moral code or your health. And, more often than not, that works out pretty well for me. This was one of those times.
Sliced peaches from the heritage garden on-site were covered with chardonnay, sprinkled with sugar, and simmered. An immersion blender was used to smooth things out while leaving a bit of appealing texture. The soup was removed from heat and a generous amount of cream was added. The soup was served at room temperature, although warm or cold would also be options. The chardonnay did something beautiful to this soup. Usually people just play up the sweetness in peaches, but here the flavor of the fruit was deepened, not so flashy. It reminded me of a showy Southern belle finally realizing that less – perfume, lace, attitude – is more.
This soup stayed on my mind more than any other part of the meal. When I got home and spotted that quart of peaches from my farm share beginning to languish, I knew just how to use them. I opted for ameretto/water and honey instead of chardonnay and sugar. I also skipped the cream. As the scent filled my kitchen, reminding me of the soup I’d had a few days before, I smiled that I hadn’t just pushed that bowl away with the assumption that I wouldn’t like it.