Smoky Beetnik & Tom Gazpacho

I went to the farmer’s market today, and loaded up on more produce than you can even imagine. I’m on a huge beet kick lately — I love eating them plain or incorporating them into a delicious meal. So when I saw two different kinds of beets at the farmer’s market today, I went a little hog wild. And the other day I had bought a container of roasted vegetable gazpacho at Whole Foods (on sale, $6 for a pint!), which served as the inspiration for this gorgeous summer soup — I made over a gallon (even after tasting as I went along) and the ingredients for it cost me less than $20 total. I’ll let you do the math. (The Whole Foods version was way too garlicky for me anyway.) Making it was a bit of a process, but I listened to business audio books while I worked on the soup, and the time flew by.

Here’s what I did:

I boiled 4 small to medium beets, and 4 medium carrots, just until tender, and I set them aside to cool.

Using my food processor, I fine-diced the following:

Half a “bunch” of fresh cilantro

Two small cucumbers

2 or 3 large green onions

A very full quart-sized container of fresh, ripe tomatoes (and I wish I hadn’t eaten all the golden cherry tomatoes, because I’d have quartered those and thrown them in there in larger pieces; they were heaven)

One green bell pepper (I would have also added a yellow one, if I’d had both)

1 medium raw zucchini

I’d have added some celery as well if I’d had some, but it wasn’t worth another trip to the store over it.

I poured all of this into a soup pot as I went, even though I didn’t cook the finished product — it just helped me to get my mindset right.

I then added the following:

1 1/2 quarts organic tomato juice (R.W. Knudsen’s brand was on sale, and I love that it comes in glass bottles)

A dash of chipotle powder

White pepper

Salt

A sprinkle of cayenne

Cumin

Smoked Paprika

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (soy sauce equivalent)

A dash of apple cider vinegar

A dash of olive oil

The juice and pulp of 3 small limes

I then cut up the beets and carrots (now completely cooled) in the food processor the same way, and added them to the mix. You could omit either, or just the beets, or both for a more traditional gazpacho, and it would be delicious. It’s sweeter with the beets, and as a gorgeous rich color and an earthier flavor. Add a little chunk of beet to a spoonful of your gazpacho, taste the difference, and decide for yourself! Delicious either way; and now I’m wishing I’d only gone with beets in half the batch so that I could enjoy two different kinds of soup this week. But I doubt I’ll have any trouble dispatching with these leftovers! 😉

PS I Googled Beet Gazpacho, and apparently it’s very much a thing! I had no idea; I literally just thought I’d invented something wonderful. Oh well. It’s wonderful anyway, and I totally invented my version. Plus I’m pretty sure no one else named theirs “Smoky Beetnik and Tom Gazpacho” 😉

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