We are head over heels for this simple chilled peach soup with cucumbers. It is refreshing and light but still packed with the flavors of summer. We topped it off with an easy homemade basil oil.
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You may have had peach soup before and thought, 'nah, not for me'. You know the one I am talking about. It is good for the first few bites but the heavy cream, added cinnamon and extra sugar coat your tongue and suddenly it isn't so good.
This peach soup recipe is light and refreshing, like a peach gazpacho. No need extra refined sugar, the ripe peaches are plenty sweet enough. We swamped out heavy creams, milks, and liquors for a tangy greek yogurt (and yes you can absolutely make this peach soup vegan!).
And the basil oil may seem like extra work but we promise it is worth the effort.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Peaches- Fresh in-season peaches are a must for this recipe. If you can't get your hands on ripe peaches, use frozen. Canned peaches are not a good substitute in this recipe, they both too sweet and too soft.
- Cucumber- Cucumber adds both water and refreshing quality to the soup. We use an English seedless cucumber. If you have standard cucumber cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. The seeds will not pulverize in the blender.
- Honey- I know I said no sugar, but honey isn't refined sugar. And we aren't using much. I adjust down the honey when using sweeter varieties like white peaches or clingstone varieties.
- Champagne Vinegar- Many cold peach soup recipes call for liquor to be added in place of another type of acid. While I love a good cocktail, I find that liquor or wine overpowers the delicate peach and cucumber flavor. This might be because we never cook the soup so the alcohol doesn't burn off. Champagne vinegar is my go-to acid of choice in this soup recipe. However, white or red wine vinegar and sherry vinegar are all great substitutes.
- Garlic- The recipe calls for one SMALL clove. I am not kidding. You need the tiniest bit. I learned the hard way. If you are unsure, put in a fraction of a clove and you can add more from there.
- Greek Yogurt- Thick, creamy, and tangy, it is everything this recipe needs. Be sure your yogurt is plain and unsweetened.
- Basil Oil- Rather than added chopped basil to the soup we opted to make a basil oil instead. This keeps the soup smooth and a beautiful peachy color. Mint makes a great substitute here. Peach soups commonly rely on mint. I find it a bit overwhelming and if you do too you can tone it down by doing a 50/50 mint and basil oil. Delicious!
How to Make This Recipe
I love how fast this recipe is to make. To be honest, the hardest part is peeling all the peaches. The soup will last 3-5 days in the fridge but the garlic flavor will become more pronounced over time.
This cold soup is an easy 'place all ingredients in a blender, puree until completely smooth, done' type of recipe. If you don't like how frothy it is you can strain through a fine-mesh sieve to get out the bubbles.
I always chill the soup in the blender so if I have to add more garlic or salt I can zap it right up.
This is one of those dishes that is best served in small bowls rather than family style. You can garnish with yogurt, cucumber slices and fresh basil leaves in addition to the basil oil.
To make the basil oil you first have to blanch the basil by boiling it for just under a minute and then plunging into an ice bath. Then ring all the water out of your basil. and blend with the olive oil.
This mixture has to rest for at least 30 minutes before straining out the leaves. I store the basil oil in a small squeeze bottle to make it easier to dot onto the soup.
How to Make Vegan Peach Soup
This recipe is easy to make vegan, in fact, I highly recommend the vegan versions of this peach soup whether you are vegan or not. There are two ways to make this soup vegan, one is with vegan yogurt and the other is coconut milk.
Using vegan yogurt I typically stick with a nut or oat-based plain unsweetened yogurt. I find soy yogurt clashes with the peaches.
For coconut milk, you want to use the canned milk, not coconut cream or coconut beverage. Make sure you the coconut milk is well blended before adding to the blender, you want an even amount of the cream and the water. When using coconut milk I do a 50/50 basil-mint blend. I love the mint with the coconut. It is like a totally different peach soup- in a good way! You can also substitute all, or part, Thai basil.
For both versions, you will omit the honey and use 1 tsp of coconut sugar. You can add additional sugar once the soup has chilled. I don't recommend using maple syrup in this recipe.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- To make this peach soup more like a chunky gazpacho make the soup as written. After blending, stir in 1 cup of diced peaches and 1/2 cup diced cucumbers and chill. This will increase the servings from 4 to 6.
- The basil oil recipe makes more than is needed for the soup. Store the excess in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. We like to use the excess on our roasted eggplant!
- Make the soup the night before if serving for brunch. It is an easy fuss-free but elegant first course.
- Not a good year for peaches? You can actually substitute nectarines, 1 for 1 in this recipe for a chilled nectarine soup.
- Or do a mix of peaches and nectarines for a stonefruit soup. Add an apricot in while you are at it!
More Summertime Recipes
The best part about summer is the food. All the amazing local fresh fruits and vegetables, grilling out and sipping cocktails. Here are few of our other favorite summertime recipes:
- Peach Crisp (Gluten and Dairy Free)- More peaches, of course
- Vegan Poke Bowl- a great no-cook meal for a hot day
- Blueberry Iced Tea- Refreshing and easy to make, add a splash of bourbon if you are feeling cheeky
- Lemon and Artichoke Zucchini Noodles- My go-to light summer dinner
We hope you are make the most of your summer bounty!
Chilled Peach Soup
- Mesh strainer
- 4 cups peaches, peeled and diced
- ¾ cup seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
- 2 tsp honey coconut sugar for vegan
- 2 tsp champagne vinegar
- 1 small clove of garlic
- ⅔ cup greek yogurt or use dairy-free yogurt for vegan
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup basil leaves, tighly packed
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- Place all ingredients in a blender, puree until completely smooth.
- Chill until very cold, at least 1 hour.
- Spoon the chilled soup into individual bowls. Drizzle with basil oil and garnish with cucumber slices, microgreens, or peach slices.
- Bring a small pot of water to boil. Blanch basil by boiling for 45 seconds then plunging into an ice water bath.
- Press the water our of the basil and place it in a blender with olive oil and salt. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes then strain the oil through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the solids and store the oil in a sealed jar in the fridge until use.
- You can use fresh or frozen peaches in this recipe.
- To make pack soup with mint substitute mint for the basil to make mint oil. Alternatively, you can do a 50/50 split of basil and mint.
- For our two vegan variations of this recipe, please see the full post.