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Summer Soup Recipe: Chilled Coconut Beetroot Ginger

17/06/2014 13:14 BST | Updated 15/08/2014 10:59 BST

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What could be better than a bowl or three of chilled soup on a summer afternoon? In this recipe, courgette and coconut milk combine for an oh-so-creamy texture. Ginger adds zing while the beetroots give sweetness and a gorgeous color.

From a nutritional perspective, beetroots are rich in antioxidants, especially betanin, an exceptionally active free-radical scavenger. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, and according to a 2013 article published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, "oxidative stress is rapidly gaining recognition as a key phenomenon in chronic diseases."

Environmental pollution, stress, smoking, denatured foods, and even normal cellular metabolism all promote oxidative stress through free radical chain reactions. The best defense against free radicals is an antioxidant-rich diet, which means beetroots, besides being delicious, help you live better. The best beetroots come in June, so stop by your local farmers' market today and give this refreshing summer recipe a go.

Chilled Coconut Beetroot Ginger Soup

  • 400 gr beetroot, chopped
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium courgette, chopped
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 1 generous pinch sea salt
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • Mixed fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, mint) for garnish

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Method

  1. Wash and roughly chop the beetroots. You don't need to peel them, but do remove any gnarly bits.
  2. Put the beetroot pieces, ginger, onion, and bay leaf in a casserole with just enough water to cover.
  3. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Note: beetroot needs to cook longer than courgette.
  4. Add the courgette, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and if necessary, slightly more water. The liquid should be just covering the vegetables, as pictured above.
  5. Return to boiling; reduce heat and simmer another 15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, cool slightly, remove the bay leaf, and blitz in a high-speed blender. You can also use a hand-blender but stronger blenders yield smoother textures.
  7. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  8. Chill several hours; garnish with freshly chopped herbs and serve. Note: this soup is also delicious served warm.

SERVES 3-4

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Christopher James Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Nutritional Grail: Ancestral Wisdom, Breakthrough Science, and the Dawning Nutritional Renaissance.

For more great recipes, visit the Nutritional Grail Blog or pick up your copy of the book.