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summer soup- beet cucumber gazpacho

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summer soup- beet cucumber gazpacho

Postby Leigh F » Tue May 20, 2008 12:50 am

I love borscht, and I love gazpacho. This is the best of both worlds!
And, of course, this is a great way to eat a lot of fresh vegetables.
2 large or 4 small fresh beets, trimmed
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
2 cups cold water
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped onion
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes' worth)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or basil
1 teaspoon salt
fresh-ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons yogurt or whole, low-fat, or nonfat sour cream (optional, garnish)
1. If the beets are large, cut them in half. Put the beets in a large stockpot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the beets can be pierced with a butter knife (depending on the size of the beets this will take anywhere between 25 and 45 minutes). Drain the beets, and under cold running water, squeeze off the skins and cut the beets into quarters.
2. Place the beets in a food processor or blender. Toast the coriander and cumin in a small dry skillet, shaking it often until they release their fragrance. Add the spices and peppers to the beets. Add 1/2 cup of the water, and blend the mixture until the large chunks are gone, but not to a smooth puree (you want some texture to the soup). Transfer the beet mixture to a large bowl.
3. In the processor or blender, combine the cucumber, onion, and tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup of the water. Process until the mixture is only slightly chunky. Add this mixture to the beet mixture. Add the remaining 1 cup water, the lime juice, the olive oil, the cilantro or basil, and the salt and pepper. Chill the soup for at least 1 hour. Then ladle it into bowls, garnish each bowl with a tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream, and serve.
Variation: instead of the red bell peppers, try poblano peppers. But don't puree the poblanos; instead, chop them fine. They will add a nice contrast in color to the red of the beets, and a little heat besides.

I got the recipe from Didi Emmons's Vegetarian Planet cookbook. It has a lot of great recipes. Highly recommend it.
But, I don't like garnishing soup with yogurt or sour cream personally. I know it's a traditional way to eat borscht, perhaps gazpacho, but I think it's gross. It tastes fine without, and then it is 100 percent vegan, which is nice.
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Leigh F
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:37 am

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