Fifteen years ago, we were commissioned by Nedbank to publish a cookbook for their private clients. In this Nedbank Private Collection Cookbook, Justine Drake created a treasure chest of recipes that I believe are beyond delicious, silly simple and totally timeless. This recipe has no fancy ingredients and the method is literally a one-liner. We had the happiest crew working on this book – chief everything Nina Schiodt, newby Caro Gardner, a beautiful design by Petal Palmer and the uber-talented photographer Dirk Pieters.

Serves 8 – 10


6 beetroot, cooked & peeled
2 English cucumbers
2 red peppers, cores & seeds removed
2 red chillies, seeded
3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 thick slices bread, crusts removed
½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
3 cups (750 ml) tomato juice
sea salt, milled black pepper and sugar
1 red onion

Purée together 4 of the beetroot, 1 cucumber and 1 red pepper with the chilli, garlic, bread, olive oil and vinegar, stock and tomato juice until fairly smooth. Season the soup with salt, pepper and sugar.

Finely chop the remaining beetroot, cucumber, pepper and onion.

Stir the chopped vegetables into the soup, reserving a little for garnishing.

Chill well before serving, topped with the reserved vegetables.

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