Like most cooks, family influence had a heavy hand in chef Gabriel Kreuther’s love for food; his mother taught him how to use simple and local ingredients to create elaborate family meals. “She used everything to the fullest extent, and put tasty food on the table while still having the most respect for it,” he says.
This chilled soup, made of a combination of white and yellow peaches, is an updated take on a recipe that Kreuther’s mother made frequently when he was a child. (Another soup regularly made in the Kreuther house was a peasant flour soup garnished with frog’s legs.)
Simple and bright, this soup is perfect for the warm weather. Here’s how to make it at home.
Chilled White and Yellow Peach Soup With Beer and Lemon VerbenaRecipe Courtesy of Chef/Owner Gabriel Kreuther, Gabriel Kreuther, New York City
5 large yellow peaches, washed
5 large white peaches, washed
1/2 quart water
1/2 quart light beer
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 small bunch lemon verbena (or mint), divided
Almonds, sliced and toasted, for garnish (optional)
Vanilla bean, cut into pieces, for garnish (optional)
1. Cut the peaches in half; remove the pits. Slice into 1/2-inch segments and reserve in a large bowl.
2. In a large pot, combine the water, beer, vanilla bean, sugar, citrus juices and three quarters of the lemon verbena (tied together to facilitate its removal later), and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 5 minutes to fully absorb the flavor. Pour the hot liquid over the reserved peaches; place in refrigerator and allow to infuse for at least 2 hours.
3. When ready to serve, remove the lemon verbena and vanilla bean. Pour the peaches and liquid into individual bowls; garnish with a chiffonade of the remaining lemon verbena and some toasted almonds and vanilla bean pieces, if using.
Photo courtesy of Gabriel Kreuther.