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This easy beet gazpacho is a refreshing, cold beet soup featuring fresh beets, cucumber, onion, creamy yogurt and a splash of lime. A delicious and light soup for lunch or dinner, it’s thickened with potato rather than heavy cream so is quite low in calories.
Topped with toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for crunch, it’s also vegetarian and gluten-free!
Why We Love This Cold Beet Soup
- Beets are really popular in Latin American cuisine. You’ll see them mixed with potatoes in ensalada rusa (a mayo-based salad), as a topping on Guatemalan enchiladas and served for special occasions such as ensalada de nochebuena (Christmas Eve salad) in Mexico.
- Because they’re so versatile, we always plant lots of beets in our garden. This beetroot gazpacho recipe is a great way to enjoy the fresh flavour of beets when they’re in season.
- This beet soup comes together quickly and is easy to make in advance.
- Its pretty magenta colour makes it the perfect appetizer for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or a special summer brunch.
- Deep-hued red beets are a great addition if you’re “eating the rainbow” which simply means eating fruits and vegetables of different colours every day. The phytonutrients that give plants their pigment are also nutritious.
What is Unique About Gazpacho?
Also known as gazpacho de remolacha, gazpacho is made of fresh beets, potato, cucumber, spices, yogurt and a splash of lime. Together it creates the ultimate creamy, fresh beet soup.
Don’t get this recipe confused with traditional heirloom tomato gazpacho. While they’re both served chilled, the flavour and ingredients of the two are totally different. There are no tomatoes at all in this version of beet gazpacho.
This Spanish cold beet soup is also different than Polish, Ukrainian and Russian cold borscht. Those versions of beet soup usually contain dill and meat (either beef or pork). This gazpacho is vegetarian.
You’ll also find that this gazpacho is unique because there are so many incredible ways to switch up the garnishes. I often make it with buttery, garlicky croutons but the most popular topping for this beet gazpacho are pepitas — pumpkin seeds toasted in a pan.
Much as in Latin American dishes such as pepián de pollo, pumpkin seeds add a nutty flavour to dishes. They also add crunch when paired with the creamy soup and are gluten-free.
Is Gazpacho Served Hot or Cold?
Gazpacho is served cold. When the hot summer sun is beating down overhead, you’ll love how this sweet but earthy soup can cool you down.
We love to include a chilled beetroot soup as a regular dish in our summer mealtime rotation. Because beets store so well, this soup is also a healthy meal option all year-round.
Should Gazpacho be Smooth or Chunky?
Gazpacho should be creamy. I highly recommend using a high powered blender or immersion blender to puree this soup. A food processor doesn’t seem to get the texture smooth and creamy enough.
You will find if you don’t have a higher-powered blender, it will leave your soup chunkier. I used a Ninja blender.
Ingredients for this Beetroot Soup with Yogurt
For exact quantities of ingredients and full method, please scroll down to the recipe card.
- fresh red beets – you can substitute frozen beets but not canned. For cooking, the best tasting beet varieties for flavour and appearance are Detroit Supreme, Kestrel, Red Ace and Merlin.
- white potato
- white onion – your best choice is a mild variety such as Vidalia.
- English cucumber – or a garden cucumber seeded
- plain yogurt or Mexican crema
- lime juice – freshly squeezed
- vegetable broth – preferably homemade or low sodium store-bought
- pepitas for the garnish. Pepitas are slightly plumper than the shelled pumpkin seeds eaten as a snack in North America. But you can use substitute raw, unsalted and shelled pumpkin seeds for pepitas in this recipe and other Latin American dishes. If you have seeds leftover from this recipe use them up in jocon and pepian, traditional Guatemalan spiced stews
- fresh parsley for garnish
Pro tip: Don’t toss away those beet green leaves. Instead, use them up in this delicious Beet Greens Pesto!
Step by Step Instructions for Beet Gazpacho with Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
1. Place the beets and potato in a large pot of water.
2. Bring to a quick boil and lower heat to a simmer. Boil the vegetables until fork tender and completely cooked. This should take around 45 minutes.
3. Remove beets and potato from water and allow them to cool. Once ready to handle, slip off their skins and discard.
Then slice and chop the beets and potatoes into one-inch pieces.
4. Add the chopped beet and potato to a blender along with chopped onion, cucumber and one cup of vegetable stock.
Purée until smooth, working in batches if necessary.
5. Add the remaining one cup of stock in increments until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. It should be super smooth with no identifiable pieces of vegetable and have the consistency of heavy cream.
6. Add the yogurt and lime juice to the beet and potato puree and blend once more.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill the soup (covered) in the refrigerator for one hour to allow the flavours to develop.
8. While the soup is chilling, prepare the toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Heat a dry skillet or a comal (a flat clay or cast iron cooking griddle) over medium-high heat. Add the pepitas. Toast the seeds and continue stirring until very lightly browned. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
9. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, add a swirl of yogurt. Garnish with diced onion, diced cucumber, a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprig of parsley.
Pro Tips and Serving Suggestions:
- Wear gloves and avoid splashing beet juice around the kitchen as it stains!
- To get the creamiest cold beet soup use a high-powered blender or immersion blender rather than a food processor for puréeing. A food processor doesn’t usually get a consistency as smooth as a blender. I used a large Ninja blender for this recipe.
- For a richer, more indulgent soup, substitute Mexican crema, creme fraiche or sour cream for the yogurt. It adds a luxurious texture flavour but more calories.
- To show off the beautiful colour of this soup, serve it in pure white or clear glass bowls. A fun option is to serve it in shooter glasses as an appetizer for a weekend brunch or a cocktail party.
- This soup pairs well with cheese-based dishes such as our creamy Spanish Breakfast Casserole and almost every pasta!
Can I Freeze Gazpacho?
Although fresh beet soup is best as soon as it’s made, it can also be frozen for 2 to 3 months in a proper freezer container or freezer bag. Just leave a little room at the top of the container, as the soup will expand a bit as it freezes.
Since yogurt can separate slightly when frozen, I recommend waiting to add it right before serving. So, when you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the soup completely in the refrigerator.
Then, add the yogurt and blend it briefly to mix completely. Add water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
More Soup Recipes to Try!
Healthy Beet Gazpacho with Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
- Blender or immersion blender
- 4 medium beets with stalk and leaves removed
- 1 potato large
- ¼ cup white onion chopped
- 1 English cucumber peeled and sliced, seeded if necessary. reserve some for the garnish.
- 3 Tablespoon plain yogurt
- salt to taste
- black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 cups vegetable broth homemade or low sodium purchased broth
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds or pepitas shelled and pan toasted
- ¼ cup diced cucumber - peeled and diced finely
- ¼ cup white onion diced finely
- parsley sprigs
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- Place the cleaned beets and potato in a large pot of water. Bring to a quick boil and lower heat to a simmer. Boil until fork tender and completely cooked. This should take around 45 minutes.
- Remove the beets and potato from water and allow to cool. Once ready to handle, slip off their skins, then slice and chop into one-inch pieces.
- Add the chopped beet and potato to a blender along with the chopped white onion, cucumber ( be sure you've reserved some for the garnish) and one cup of vegetable stock..
- Purée until smooth, working in batches if necessary.
- Add the remaining one cup of stock in increments until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. It should be super smooth with no identifiable pieces of vegetable and have the consistency of heavy cream.
- Add the yogurt and lime juice, blend one final time.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill the soup (covered) in the refrigerator for one hour to allow the flavours to develop.
- While the soup is chilling, toast the pepita (pumpkin seeds) in a dry skillet until light brown.
- Ladle the soup into small individual bowls, add a swirl of yogurt.
- Garnish each serving with diced onion, diced cucumber, a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprig of parsley.
- Serve immediately.
- Gazpacho should be very creamy so I recommend using a high powered blender or immersion blender to puree this soup.
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.