There are so many things to like about summer in Paris. The weather (usually) improves, with people shedding layers and raincoats in exchange for summer frocks and sandals. And once the sun is out, the Parisians are ready for le pique-nique. The banks along the Seine are filled with people enjoying cheese and wine, and baskets are full of interesting French recipes—all to celebrate the end of indoor hibernation.
The picnic also allows me to enjoy another favorite summer item—fresh fruit. As soon as I start seeing the red of strawberries and raspberries, I know the warm weather is here. Then there are the stone fruits, and the arrival of my beloved, la pêche.
When peaches are at their peak ripeness, with brilliant shades of orange and red, there’s not much you need to do but slice and enjoy. I found myself at the marché this week, with eyes bigger than my selected stash of peaches, and ended up with a large bag of very ripe, and very delicious, peaches. Not wanting any of them to go bad, I decided to make a cold peach soup, which would also carry well for any outdoor picnic.
I haven’t decided the best time to eat the soup, so I’ve been sipping it at pretty much all meals. Add a little more yogurt at breakfast time, or more crème fraîche for a dessert. It’s so versatile and absolutely refreshing. You’ll be thinking summer thoughts even if the rain ends up returning to your picnic.
3 large, ripe peaches
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt
½ cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh mint
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
juice of half a lime
crème fraîche and a mint sprig for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash the peaches and slice them into quarters, removing the pit. Evenly dust the peaches with salt and cinnamon.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with nonstick spray. Arrange the peaches cut side down on the sheet, and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until soft.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, remove the skins and place the peaches in a blender.
5. When the peaches are puréed, add water, honey, mint, yogurt and lime, and process until smooth. Add salt if necessary.
6. Pour the soup into a glass or bowl, and garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche and a mint sprig.
Editor’s note: If you are a foodie heading to Paris, why not download one of our three gourmet walking trips or our package of foodie walks for the iPhone?