When we were in France in the summer we found this delicious Beetroot Gaspacho in the supermarket. The temperatures were over 30°C and it was so refreshing as a light meal or starter.

It also balanced well with all the French Cheese and Charcuterie that we were feasting on!

With summer in full swing I decided to look at the label I photographed, draw on my taste memory bank and create my own version.  I am satisfied with the result and Mark agrees that it is so close to the one we enjoyed in France.

Beetroot is also one of the ‘superfoods’ recommended by nutritionalists to curb blood sugar, cholesterol and a host of other ailments! Nothing is added that is not guilt free, so enjoy!

I started with a small bunch of 6 medium sized beetroot, but this eventually yielded 2 litres of soup. I have altered the recipe to serve 6 main courses or 8 starters. It is one of those recipes that contains all the good stuff, 100% guilt free, so make a larger portion, keep it in the fridge for summer snacks or a quick lunch. A swirl of sour cream or yoghurt always looks stunning. It can be jazzed up with a salsa made from tomato, spring onion, avo or cucumber.

I have tried using raw beetroot in my powerful blender but I do not like the earthy flavour, so I prefer to cook it.

On another occasion at a restaurant in Issigeac, one of our favourite villages in the Dordogne, France, we had an ‘amuse’ of a beetroot and mint gaspacho served in a small shot glass, topped with a mint and chive cream. It was delicious. You can easily use this basic recipe and play around with presentation.

If you want to add a vibrancy (colour and flavour) to your summer Christmasfoodwinegarden.com/…ipe/beetroot-gaspacho lunch, this will make an excellent starter.

Working with beetroot is quite messy, so don’t wear your favourite white apron!

Recipe: Beetroot Gaspacho