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Tomato and Peach Gelee

Acidity and sweetness come together in this soup made with sliced heirloom tomatoes and wedges of white and yellow peaches, with a hint of tarragon.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 1999

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5) ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 pounds (6 or 7) ripe yellow peaches
  • 1 pound (2 or 3) ripe white peaches
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar or white-wine vinegar
  • 1 large bunch fresh tarragon
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed cherry, heirloom, and/or beefsteak tomatoes

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, score the nonstem end of each tomato and all but two of the yellow peaches (set aside the white peaches). Blanch the tomatoes and peaches in batches in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Transfer the tomatoes and peaches to a bowl of ice water; when cool enough to handle, peel them. Cut peaches in half; remove pits. Cut the peaches and tomatoes into smaller chunks; process pieces through food mill, collecting pulp and juices in a large bowl. Discard solids.

  2. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Pick leaves from 3/4 of the bunch of tarragon; add to mixture. Line a large sieve with cheesecloth; set over a large bowl. Transfer entire mixture to sieve; let stand at room temperature for about 2 1/2 hours, until 4 1/2 cups of liquid, or half of the puree amount, has collected in the bowl.

  3. Transfer bowl to refrigerator, and let stand until very cold. Adjust seasoning of liquid with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

  4. Slice the cherry tomatoes in quarters or halves and the large heirloom tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the tomatoes in serving bowls. Blanch the two remaining yellow peaches and the reserved white peaches as above, then peel and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. Arrange the peach wedges in serving bowls.

  5. Ladle the chilled liquid over tomatoes and peaches. Garnish with remaining tarragon, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Chefs often refer to this style of soup, made from the collected juices of fruits and vegetables, as "waters" because the liquid is so clear and pure. The "chefs' method" is time-consuming and requires large quantities of produce for a relatively small yield. This adaptation, which calls for processing the tomatoes and peaches with a food mill, generates more juice faster.

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