Food & Drink

A Perfectly Peachy Summer Soup

This chilled curry and peach soup from Southwest Virginia is the ideal summer supper

“Nothing screams summer more than going to the farmers’ market and getting peaches,” says Bradley Griffin, the chef and owner of Sarah Jean’s Eatery in Glade Spring, Virginia. “Here, there’s a guy named George who grows some of the best peaches I’ve ever had anywhere. When he comes into the market each season, it’s game on.” 

Just off I-81 in Southwest Virginia, Glade Spring nestles into the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Highlands. “This is a strong Appalachian area, which means people eat a lot of meat and threes, a lot of beans and cornbread,” Griffin says. At Sarah Jean’s in the town square, the atmosphere is casual, but the menu transforms homey regional ingredients into elegant dinners such as lamb and beef meatloaf with beet greens and peach barbecue sauce, or liver pudding and cornbread toast. “I love when farmers grow experimental stuff in addition to their great heirloom tomatoes or whatnot,” Griffin says. “It helps us add this new dimension to traditional Appalachian food.” 

In Griffin’s cold, curried peach soup, for instance, that added dimension is evident. The warmth of curry, nutmeg, and cinnamon softens with yellow squash and fresh peaches, making the chilled sipper perfect for a summer night. “My best tip for the soup is to not get hung up on the exact tablespoon or teaspoon measurements of herbs and spices. If you think it would taste better with more or less of anything, go for it,” Griffin says. “Also, give it a good amount of time to simmer, and let it get completely cold before you eat it. That makes sure all the flavors mellow.” 


  • Curried Peach Soup (Yield: about five servings)

    • 5 peaches, quartered, with pits removed

    • 1 medium yellow squash, stem removed and roughly chopped

    • 1 tbsp. lavender

    • 2 tsp. curry powder

    • 1 tsp. nutmeg

    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

    • ½ tsp. ground cardamom

    • 2 tsp. fresh thyme

    • 1 tbsp. fresh mint

    • ¼ cup peach vinegar (Griffin makes this by soaking peach pits in rice wine vinegar overnight. You can substitute apple cider vinegar.)

    • 6 cups water

    • Mint, thyme, and peach slices for garnish


  1. Place all ingredients except garnishes in a medium-sized pot and cook on high until soup reaches a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Pour cooked soup into a blender and blend. Place blended soup in the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely before serving.

  2. Garnish soup with fresh mint, thyme, and peach slices.