Chef, food writer and spice blend entrepreneur Belinda Smith-Sullivan has lived in France, Kenya and South Africa, and has traveled extensively throughout the world.
Today her address is Trenton, home to many of South Carolina’s peach orchards. This isn’t too surprising for the granddaughter of a Mississippi Delta cotton sharecropper who grew up spending summers on his farm.
There, “neighbors took care of neighbors,” she writes, “and our neighbors delivered bushels of peaches to our doorstep throughout the summer. I would spend hours on the front porch, peeling and slicing peaches, getting them ready to be canned and made into preserves or peach brandy.”
Small wonder she’s written a cookbook on peaches that’s just bursting with flavor. You’ll find your mouth watering for her cast iron peach cornbread, peach-stuffed pork chops, peach upside-down cake and the peach and tomato gazpacho below. Dig in. This is prime peach season. $21.99. Gibbs Smith.
Peach and Tomato Gazpacho
Serves 4 to 6
No longer will those overripe tomatoes and peaches go to waste. Repurpose them into this cold and refreshing soup for lunchtime or as a starter for your alfresco meal. ... Refrigerating overnight only improves the flavor. Serve as it comes from the blender or strain for a silkier texture.
6 ripe peaches, quartered
6 ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 shallots, peeled and halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 stalk celery with leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
11⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
Kosher salt, to taste
Pinch of cayenne, or more to taste
Seasoned pepitas, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish
In a blender, purée the peaches, tomatoes, shallots, garlic and celery until smooth. Add the oil, lime juice, tarragon, salt and cayenne; continue blending until all ingredients are combined. Pour into a carafe or pitcher with a lid and refrigerate. If desired, strain through a fine sieve before refrigeration. To serve, ladle into bowls or cups and garnish with pepitas and lime, and drizzle with a little more olive oil.