Beet and Cucumber Gazpacho

This recipe was contributed by work exchange member, Julian; it comes from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons, and makes a great summer salad featuring a whole slew of fresh veggies!

Beet and Cucumber Gazpacho


  • 2 large fresh beets or 4 small, trimmed
  • 1 t ground coriander seeds
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 2 red bell peppers seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cucumber peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 5 plum tomatoes chopped
  • 3 T lime juice from about 1.5 limes
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T cilantro or basil chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 T yogurt or whole low-fat, or nonfat sour cream


  1. If beets are large, cut them in half. Put the beets into a large stockpot and cover them with water. Bring water to a boil, and simmer until the beets can be pierced with a butter knife (anywhere between 25 and 45 minutes). Drain the beets, and under cold running water, squeeze off the skins and cut beets into quarters.
  2. Place 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 this 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.

Recipe Notes

Serves 6.