Recipe: Use very ripe fruit in this dish for best flavor
Garnish the soup with a few thin slices of peach before serving. (Photos:
The homegrown Honey Babe peach in the one in the front.
The cookbook is full of sweet and savory dishes as well as stories by David Mas Masumoto, whose family has grown heirloom peaches in the San Joaquin Valley for generations. (He gained national acclaim for the memoir "Epitaph for a Peach" in 1995, and has written other books since.)
Marcy Masumoto, his wife, developed this particular recipe. Interestingly, I found her version too creamy and not "peachy" enough. So the recipe below reflects my changes. The carrot puree may seem an odd inclusion, but it does give the soup some depth, and contributes to the lovely color.
I found some beautiful ripe peaches at our local fruit stand, but also included one of my six precious Honey Babe peaches, the total harvest from my miniature backyard peach tree. The peach nectar in the recipe is found in soda-like aluminum cans, usually in a store's juice section.
A hot water bath followed by a plunge into ice will
loosen the skins on peaches. It works on tomatoes,
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or brunch dish
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced or diced, about 1/2 cup
2 to 3 very ripe peaches (the Masumotos call them "gushers")
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons canned peach nectar, divided
2 tablespoons half-and-half
2 fresh peaches, one peeled and diced, the other thinly sliced, peeling optional (depends on how fuzzy it is)
Place the carrot pieces in a small saucepan and cover with about 1 cup cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, until a knife point can easily pierce a carrot piece. Set the pan aside for the carrots to cool; do not drain.
Peel the 2 to 3 "gusher" peaches by cutting an X into the pointed end and dropping them into a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl of ice water for a minute, then peel.
Slice the peeled peaches into the container of a blender. Blend on medium high until they are fully pureed. Pour out into a liquid measuring cup. You should have at least 1 cup of puree.
Don't clean the blender yet: Place the cooked carrots and 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid in the blender container and puree it. Pour in the peach puree, pulse to blend, then add the grated ginger, the lime juice, yogurt, 4 tablespoons of the peach nectar, and the half-and-half.
Fresh peach pieces go into the bowl before the
soup is poured over them.
Before serving, add about 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, then taste the soup. Adjust the taste and consistency by using more peach nectar, more salt or more lime juice, as preferred.
To serve, place a generous 1 tablespoon of the diced garnish peach in the bottom of a chilled bowl or ice cream dish. Pour about 1/2 cup of soup over the diced peaches, then garnish with 2 thin slices of the other garnish peach.
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A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.
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Dig In: Garden Checklist
For week of March 19:
Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:
* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.
* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.
* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.
* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.
* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.
* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.
* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.
* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.
* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.
* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.
* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.
* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.
* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.
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