Make Ahead

Chilled Tomato Peach Soup

July 19, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is Southern summer, a creamy, spicy cold soup that's bursting with the unadulterated flavors of July. I grew up with tomato soup as comfort food, as did, I imagine, many of you. This is a grown up version of that can of Campbell's made with milk. It has an incredibly bright flavor, and I personally find it addictive. It's the perfect harmony of notes: tangy, savory, and ever so slightly sweet. It's a simple soup designed to celebrate summer ingredients at their peak. Don't even try to make this any other time of the year. Just don't. But what you can do is not hesitate to serve it alongside a grilled cheese sandwich. —Beth Kirby | {local milk}

What You'll Need
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly minced
  • 3/4 cup shallot (about 1 medium), roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound ripe peaches, quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  1. It should be noted I don't bother to peel the tomatoes or peaches. You can, but I find the fibrous bits get left behind when it's strained. First, heat oil and sweat the shallot and garlic over medium low until aromatic and translucent.
  2. Add in tomatoes, peached, and thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt. Simmer over medium until peaches and tomatoes break down. Stirring occasionally and using the back of a wooden spoon to mash them up, about 15 minutes.
  3. When looking very soupy but still with a few chunks remove from heat, remove thyme, and puree the soup in a blender (I usually do this in 2 batches). Strain into a clean pot through a find mesh strainer, using the back of a ladle in a swirling motion to get it through but don't press.
  4. Place strained soup back on med-low. Add cream, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt to taste if needed. Adjust cream, sugar, and cayenne as desired. Simmer on low for about five to ten minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before chilling in the fridge until cold, a couple of hours or overnight. Can certainly be served warm if you so desire. Serve with a few fresh herbs sprinkled on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ashley Law
    Ashley Law
  • Betsey Walker Culliton
    Betsey Walker Culliton
  • Smoothiesrule
  • eboyd
  • babycook
A Southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera. Freelance food writer & photographer. Blogs at

28 Reviews

Adrienne W. August 9, 2022
This is amazing just as it’s written. Naturally, I can think of all sorts of ways to mess with it! Simmering now with crystallized ginger, and I’ll adjust the sugar. Going to try it with sour cream or crème fraiche instead of the cream. I’ll freeze some for work lunches and easy dinners, and I cannot wait to to serve it to guests; I never get to use my beautiful soup tureen! Thanks for this, it’s a permanent part of my toolbox.
Nicole August 7, 2021
Summer in a bowl!!
Made an easy sub of cashew cream for the heavy cream and skipped the straining after blending in a Vitamix.
I will make this again and again
Ashley L. July 8, 2018
This looks great!! I think I may grate up some carrot and cook it in to replace the sugar. I was taught this can be a healthy alternative when you want to add sweetness to tomato sauces
Lusty D. July 22, 2016
This recipe is very close to Mark Bittman's. I would never use garlic in this soup and I replace the shallot with vidallia onion. I use tarragon instead of thyme but I'm sure thyme is just as fragrant. Always eat cold. I like the coconut milk idea...
ThereseTetzel July 22, 2016
I made this today and liked it. However, I would increase the peaches as they tend to get lost in the tomatoes. I also cut wayyyy back on the cream and did not sieve it. I like the fiber and it came out more like a cross between bisque and gazpacho. Like it better cold.
Betsey W. September 12, 2015
Or maybe a bit of coconut milk? You'd have to play with the proportions.
Smoothiesrule September 12, 2015
hmm. no but, to me, it needs an ingredient to mellow acidity of tomato without losing the gentle peach undertone. a mild flavored oil like avocado could work?
macfly18 September 12, 2015
Has anyone made this without the cream? Followed the recipe and Loved it but wanted to make it for vegan friends and forgot it has cream in it
Smoothiesrule July 7, 2015
wow, Susan Campbell. sounds beautiful.
susan C. July 7, 2015
A hit at a fourth of July celebration. This being the height of heirloom tomato season at our So Cal farmers markets, I decided to kick it up a notch by making half the recipe with yellow tomatoes, and the other half with a red tomatoes (yellow peaches in both). Both were served in the same bowl by slowly pouring both side by side into the bowl. The results was beautiful. Half the bowl presented a pale yellow, delicate flavor, while the other half was a pink, slightly more acidic -- but just as delicious -- version. It paired beautifully with bubblies (champagne and prosecco).
Smoothiesrule July 5, 2015
getting rave reviews on this recipe. I would not do buttermilk as the cream balances the tang. Avocado oil might be worth a shot I suppose. Not surprisingly, have found the sugar level needs vary significantly with each tomato and peach purchase. And for those of you wanting to save time, it works fine with boxed Pomi tomatoes especially if you peel peaches first: no straining. Cook, blend, chill, done.
Lusty D. June 12, 2015
Mark Bittman has published a recipe similar to this, peach and tomato combination. It's worth a search..
eboyd June 22, 2014
I'm thinking of trying this with buttermilk instead of cream... has anyone tried this already?
BaliThai June 11, 2015
Did you ever try the tomato peach soup with buttermilk? If so, how was it?
babycook September 13, 2013
I made this a few weeks ago, and it was so well received that the three people who came to dinner made it for subsequent dinner parties, also to rave reviews. I'm making it again tonight!
Beth K. September 13, 2013
I cannot tell you how happy that makes me to hear! Wonderful.
Michelle August 25, 2013
Just tried this with some DELICIOUS local peaches and heirloom tomatoes and it was fabulous. Got rave reviews. I added in a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds for color and texture...yummmm!!!!!
Beth K. September 13, 2013 interesting! And it totally makes sense.
Ann August 18, 2013
Any adaptations recommended to make this in a crock pot?
Betsey W. August 4, 2013
This was delicious! I also added a drizzle of balsamic for some added depth.
TessaVA August 3, 2013
Very delicious...summer in a bowl! Why strain the soup? Purée it in the blender long enough and you get a silky smooth soup while retaining the good fiber of the fruits. A garnish of finely diced peach in a little salsa would be perfect finishing touch to dress it up. This one's a keeper.
Becca A. July 30, 2013
Hi, about how many sprigs of thyme would be in a bunch? I'm using fresh from the backyard so I'm not sure how much to put in. Thanks!
Beth K. July 30, 2013
I usually grab a small handful from my plant, like 10-15 sprigs?
Becca A. August 1, 2013
Made it today and it was delightful. Thanks for the recipe!
ChrisVeros July 25, 2013
Trying this now. Another notch in my stick blender.

I'm trying it with less cooking. I am a student of the gazpacho. I kept the tomatoes stone raw but I'm roasting the peaches because they weren't as ripe.
macfly18 August 19, 2014
How was this with less cooking? I'm all about tomatoes and blenders this week.