Chilled Peach Soup with Pickled Cherries

Elevate your summer picnic with this refreshing recipe from Leah Branch’s Juneteenth celebration

A bowl of yellow soup

Photo: Courtesy of the Roosevelt

If you’ve got a good amount of peaches on hand, this velvety chilled soup is a great start to a summer dinner. A salad and some thinly sliced ham are great alongside this dish. Pickled cherries pair well with the soup, but any tart fruit or summer berry would be a nice garnish on top. Ripe peaches are roasted, then their flesh is pureed with sherry vinegar and a generous amount of oil. It’s best made in advance and served straight from the refrigerator or your picnic cooler. —Leah Branch

Read the recipe’s backstory.

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  • Chilled Peach Soup with Pickled Cherries (Yield: 4 servings)

  • For the quick pickle

    • 1 quart vinegar

    • 1½ cup water

    • ½ cup sugar

    • ½ cup salt

    • 1 bay leaf

    • 6 peppercorns

    • 1 clove garlic

    • 2 cups pitted cherries or berries of choice

  • For the peach soup

    • 5 ripe peaches

    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus ½ cup for roasting

    • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced

    • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

    • 1 tsp. grated ginger

    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • Water to consistency


  1. Pickle the cherries (or berries of choice): Combine all ingredients but cherries in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and discard bayleaf, peppercorn, and garlic once cool. Place cherries in a jar and cover with pickle juice. This can be made a few days in advance. Use leftover pickle juice as you wish. It’s always good to have pickle juice on hand. 

  2. Make the soup: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a roasting pan, pour ½ cup olive oil over peaches, and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the peach skins are blackened and the flesh of the peaches is soft enough to break apart easily with a spoon. Allow peaches to cool completely before blending.

  3. Once cool, remove pits and blackened skin from peaches. Reserve oil and juices released during roasting. Using a high-speed blender, puree peaches, olive oil, onion, vinegar, ginger, paprika, and salt, adding water as needed, a tablespoon at a time. The soup should pour smoothly from the container when the proper consistency is reached. Optionally, pass mixture through a fine mesh strainer to improve texture. Chill soup and season with salt and vinegar to taste once completely cool.