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Beet cilantro gazpacho

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Mary Warrington/The Kitchen Paper

(Read caption) Chilled beet soup takes the edge off of summer's heat.

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Things I’ve learned recently:

  1. Getting bangs during summer, especially when a bicycle (with a helmet) is your main mode of transport: terrible idea. #sweatybangs
  2. Trading the bike for a ride on the bus is an unexpected way to get some air conditioning in your life.
  3. Eating cold beet soup with lots of cucumbers almost makes a hot apartment feel normal.

Anyone else learned these life lessons recently? Oof. Portland, Ore., is HOT! I spent the other afternoon at the art museum basking in the glory of air conditioning, then rode my bike for less than five minutes only to arrive at my next destination totally saturated.

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Good thing I have a big jar of this soup still in my fridge! I’ve been eating it by the bucket, topped with all sorts of fresh/cooling things: cucumber, avocado, yogurt, and sometimes radishes! Plus cold beets, cut up for a bit more beety texture. Yum!

Recommended:11 chilled soups for summer

Beet cilantro gazpacho
Makes 1-1/2 quarts

4 large beets
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves
2/3 cup chopped cucumber, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup diced red onion, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
To garnish: micro greens, extra cucumber, red onion, cubed beets, cilantro, yogurt, salt & pepper

1. In a large pot, cover the beets with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce to a simmer. Let the beets cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.

2. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature (remove the beets from the water to speed this process up). Save the cooking water!

3. When the beets are cool, use your hands to remove and discard the skin.

4. Save one beet to cube and use as a garnish. Put the rest of the beets, along with the cilantro, garlic, cucumber, onion, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender. Add two cups of the reserved cooking liquid, and blend until smooth. Add more liquid as needed, along with salt and pepper to taste.

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5. Serve the soup cold, topped with micro greens, extra cucumber, red onion, cubed beets, cilantro, and yogurt.

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Chorizo, beet, sweet potato, kale hash