Cooking for Terry Wahls + Curried Beet Gazpacho

This simply delicious and refreshing soup is my culinary ode to the beet.  

But before we get to the recipe, I have something exciting to tell you… Last week I cooked for Terry Wahls! If you’re not familiar, I highly recommend her book, The Wahls Protocol, and her TED talk on mitochondrial health. Her triumph over a serious autoimmune disease through Paleo principles and functional medicine will inspire you.  

Cooking for her was a great honor, but what do you serve the one and only Terry Wahls? How do you make a meal visually stunning and nutritionally optimized at the same time? You head to the farmer’s market…

Right now, beets are looking bright and sexy and, of course, the more fresh, local, and seasonal your food is, the more nourishing it will be as well. A powerhouse of nutrition, beets support detoxification, fight inflammation, and lower blood pressure. On the flip side, beets are actually higher in sugar than any other vegetable, so I’d caution those watching their sugar intake.

I served this vibrant soup chilled, but it can also be enjoyed warm (which is definitely worth a try when we move in to cooler months). I opted for both red and yellow beets, intentionally making the red more concentrated in flavor to contrast the sweet yellow base. Terry loved it; I hope you do, too!

 Terry Wahls about to enjoy some of my Curried Beet Gazpacho.  Sitting to her left is her cousin, Sara Wahls. 

Terry Wahls about to enjoy some of my Curried Beet Gazpacho.  Sitting to her left is her cousin, Sara Wahls. 

Curried Beet Gazpacho

Ingredients:

2 lbs. golden beets
1 lb. red beets
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. turmeric, or more to taste
½ Tbsp. ginger powder
½ Tbsp. kaffir lime leaf powder
Sea salt to taste
Homemade coconut kefir (optional)
Chives, finely chopped (optional)

 

Method:

  1. Wash and trim the beets. Chop the golden beets into even-sized chunks and steam until fork tender. Roast the red beets, whole, in a 400° F oven until fork tender.

  2. Puree the golden beets with 2½ Tbsp. olive oil, ½ cup coconut milk, 1½ Tbsp. lemon juice, and sea salt to taste.

  3. When the red beets are cool enough to handle, peel with bare hands or gloves. A clean dish towel (that you don’t mind staining red) is a great way to easily rub off the skin.

  4. Puree the red beets with 1½ Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ cup coconut milk, ½ Tbsp. lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, kaffir lime, and a pinch of sea salt. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.  

  5. Let both beet purees cool, and then refrigerate until chilled.

  6. Serve the golden beet puree with the red beet swirled on top. Garnish with coconut kefir and finely minced chives, if desired.

Chef’s Note: A dollop of homemade coconut kefir is the perfect finishing touch. I’m sharing the recipe on my website in the next couple weeks. Alternatively, you can substitute it with store-bought plain vegan yogurt. For those that consume dairy, try crème fraiche or sour cream.

Did you like this recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments below!