Classic dishes such as gazpacho are like rock stars. They don’t fade away, they just reinvent themselves. Case in point, this beet version is luscious and sweet and only gets better when adorned with a basil-infused sauce. If the soup thickens up too much upon resting, simply stir in additional broth or water.
Silky soft tofu is a great way to make creamy sauces minus the heavy calorie load of dairy-based cream.
1 lb (450 g) beets, peeled and cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
2 red bell peppers, sliced into 4 pieces
1 red onion, sliced into 1 in (2.5 cm) wedges
4 red radishes, ends trimmed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp (10 mL) + 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive or camelina oil, divided
1 cup (250 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup (125 mL) sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated if not oil-packed
1/2 English cucumber, peeled
2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) prepared horseradish (optional)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) packed basil
8 oz (225 g) silken (soft) tofu
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
1/3 cup (80 mL) toasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Toss beets, red pepper, onion, radishes, and garlic with 2 tsp (10 mL) oil and spread out on baking sheet. Roast until beets are tender, stirring once halfway, about 30 minutes. Let vegetables cool to room temperature.
Place broth, roasted vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, vinegar, horseradish, salt, and pepper in blender or food processor container and blend until smooth. Add additional broth if mixture is too thick. With the machine running on low speed, slowly pour in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil until incorporated. Chill soup for at least 2 hours before serving.
To make basil cream, blanch basil in small saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain and immediately rinse under cold water. Transfer to blender or food processor container along with tofu, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil, lime juice, and a couple pinches of salt; purée until smooth. For a creamier consistency, you can try blending in a few splashes of plain soy or other milk.
Garnish bowls of gazpacho with basil cream and pumpkin seeds.