Gazpacho is a soup originating in Andalusia, but is enjoyed all over Spain. Served cold, it is the perfect appetizer on a hot summer’s day.
In its original form, this soup recipe was vegetarian and based on ingredients readily available to Spanish peasants: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and bread.
The majority of these ingredients still feature in gazpacho, although modern variations of the Spanish dish can include everything from avocado and melon to lobster and shrimp.
This recipe sticks relatively closely to the soup’s roots, but substitutes some of the tomatoes with beets. These give the dish a little more body and a gorgeous deep purple color.
Everything in this soup recipe is raw, apart from the beets, and can be roughly chopped. The dish is a great way to use up old or stale bread, and overripe tomatoes that might otherwise go to waste. Broadly speaking, the solid ingredients can be tossed into a blender or food processor together, followed by the liquid ingredients. This means that the gazpacho is so quick to make that it can be ready in as little as 10 minutes.
In addition, the soup can be prepared in advance and, in fact, tastes best if it has been chilled for an hour or two prior to serving.
Quick Gazpacho Soup Recipe with Beets
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes.
1 lb / 500 g cooked beets, drained and roughly chopped
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 oz / 25 g (stale) breadcrumbs
1 pint / 600 ml vegetable stock
5 fl oz / 150 ml good-quality olive oil
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraîche or sour cream to garnish
-Put the beets, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
-Add the breadcrumbs, vegetable stock, oil and vinegar and blend again until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-Allow the soup to cool, transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge until needed.
-Divide the gazpacho between four bowls and garnish each portion with a small ‘dollop’ of crème fraîche or sour cream.
-Serve as an appetizer on its own, or turn it into a light lunch with slices of bread or toast drizzled with olive oil.