This weekend I headed down to Safa Park to check out the recently opened Ripe Market. Wow. Dubai’s artisans have really gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years. There was beautiful Christmas decorations, locally made pottery, imported rustic furniture, locally made bags, home-made cakes, delicious coffee stalls, juice bars, and gorgeous hand-made clothes. There must have been at least 100 stalls there of really great quality produce. Marbrook Dubai!
I resisted temptation to buy anything other than picking up my veggie box as planned. I’ll be back next week with my shopping list. When I got home I saw I had 5 beets in my box… again. I’ll be honest, I’ve had beetroot in my box every time I’ve bought one and I NEVER know what to do with it. Beetroot reminds me of other root veggies, swede, and turnip, and thick, comforting English stews, crackling fireplaces and long hearty walks in the countryside. What could I possibly make that would work when it’s 28 degrees outside?
Enter this divine, deep gazpacho soup. Goodness in a bowl, it is at once hearty, earthy and refreshing. It’s the perfect Dubai winter lunch. I used about a third of my veggie box- tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and onion and it served four people. All organic, all locally grown. The beet leaves can go in too- no waste, extra depth, extra vitamins! This is definitely going to become a regular Saturday lunch for us.
750g tomatoes, chopped
350g raw beetroot including leaves, peeled and chopped finely
1 green pepper
300g local cucumbers (approx 6 small Dubai, or 1 English)
1 small red onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Prepare all the vegetables, and using a food processor, liquidizer or blender, puree together until completely liquid.
Season the soup, and stir through the vinegar and olive oil. If your veggies weren’t cold before you started, put in the fridge to chill.