Salmorejo de Remolacha (Chilled Beetroot Soup)

Dairy Free · Vegan Friendly · Vegetarian · Can be made: Gluten Free 

21 Sep · Written by Raquel Jones


The introduction of beetroot, or remolacha, to Spain traces back to the Moorish period when Arabic influences profoundly impacted the Iberian Peninsula's culinary landscape. Moors, with their sophisticated agricultural knowledge, brought exotic ingredients like beetroots to Spain. This culinary exchange not only enriched Spanish cuisine, but also introduced the vibrant colour and earthy sweetness of beetroots to the region.

Nowadays, Salmorejo de Remolacha has found its way into the hearts and palates of Spaniards across the country. While it's enjoyed in various regions, it's particularly beloved in the southern provinces of Andalusia, where the scorching summers make chilled soups a culinary necessity. Andalusia, with its rich agricultural heritage, embraces Salmorejo de Remolacha as a refreshing antidote to the relentless sun.

Salmorejo is a Spanish word that refers to a traditional Spanish cold soup, specifically a thicker and creamier tomato-based soup.Whilst "remolacha" translates to "beetroot" in Spanish, emphasising the central ingredient of this vibrant soup.

Remolacha's vivid crimson hue not only elevates the dish's visual appeal but also infuses it with its distinct earthy sweetness.

As for when to enjoy Salmorejo de Remolacha, it's typically served during the warmer months when beetroots are in season. Beetroots thrive in the spring and early summer, making this chilled soup a popular choice for cooling off during those sweltering days.

Salmorejo de Remolacha is more than just a dish; it's a celebration of history, flavours, and the vibrant spirit of Spanish cuisine.

As you savour this chilled beetroot soup, you're partaking in a culinary journey that spans centuries, from the Moors' introduction of beetroots to Spain to the modern Andalusian twist on this vibrant creation.

Bon profit! Raquel x

Salmorejo de Remolacha (Chilled Beetroot Soup)

Serves 6 people for lunch, or 8 people as a starter


  • 1kg (in-season) tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped (see also TIPS, CHEATS & TROUBLESHOOTING below)
  • To skin tomatoes: Bring a pot of water to the boil and have a bowl of iced water nearby. Drop each tomato in the boiling water for 30sec before removing with a slotted spoon and placing into iced water to stop cooking. Skins will be easy to peel now.
  • 500g beetroot, peeled and roughly diced
  • 200g day-old bread, torn into small pieces [substitute GF bread, if needed]
  • 150ml EVOO
  • 50ml sherry vinegar
  • Juice of 1 blood orange (if still available in supermarkets, otherwise a regular orange is perfectly fine to substitute)
  • 1 clove of garlic


The night before:

  1. Finely slice the garlic clove and add to a large bowl with all other ingredients, except EVOO.
  2. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

The next day:

  1. Pour all ingredients from bowl into a food processor and blitz. Whilst motor is running, slowly pour in the EVOO until you reach an emulsified consistency you’re happy with.Note: You may not use all of the oil, so pace yourself with the blending and taste as you go. Don’t pour all the oil in at once.
  2. Taste for salt and season accordingly. Try to add 3-4 grinds of black pepper to taste - it does make a difference!


Prepare any or all of the following for garnish:

  • Segments of blood orange and a few, extra drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Peel a cucumber into ribbons and garnish soup with cylindrical shapes and a few, extra drops of EVOO.
  • For those who like creaminess, crumbled goat cheese [or vegan feta, cashew versions are really delicious] with some chopped hazelnuts scattered over the top. It gives wonderful contrasting texture and flavour.
  • A final way to serve is with 2-3 anchovy fillets laid on top with a few, extra drops of EVOO - the combination of salty and sweet is just yummy.


A word about tomatoes:

It's important to use ripe tomatoes in this recipe for the best flavour. However, ripe tomatoes may still be hard to come by in early spring, so feel free to swap the 1kg fresh tomatoes, for three, 400g cans of peeled Roma tomatoes. These canned tomatoes are picked and preserved at their peak of ripeness PLUS they come ready-peeled to save you the hassle of peeling. They'll ensure the flavour of your soup is perfectly balanced.

Also, let's talk olive oil:

Not all olive oils are created equally. Quality extra virgin olive oil will make this dish really shine so please use it!


This soup was made forour pinot gris, it really highlights the flavours of the soup.

When I think beetroot soup and wine, I imagine bright fruit (cherry/raspberry/strawberry) to pick up on the soups's sweetness.Our rosé or Tempranillo J (served slightly chilled)are two more options for a perfectly matched accompaniment to this dish.

Offer separate bowls of various garnishes (see above for ideas) and let people add and mix in what they like into their own bowls of soup. A delicious lunch in the sunshine. Don't forget to serve some warm, crusty bread alongside.