Monday, 19 April 2010

Beetroot Soup Winter Warmer

Winter has arrived in true Cape Town style - yesterday was beautifully sunny and then this morning it's cold and pouring with rain. So it's time to start making soup and comfort foods again.

I like beetroot, although I seldom make the effort to cook it. It's messy and takes time to cook, but once you have got through all the mess and the stains, it is worth it.You have to wear gloves when you peel them, otherwise you'll look like an extra from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Roasting retains much more flavour, you also need to keep the root and stalk intact while cooking or you'll end up loosing all the intense redness and nutrients.

This is my take on tradition Borscht, which sounds more like a Russian lingerie shop, but is actually just beetroot soup. It's of Ukrainian origins and is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries.

   Roast Beetroot Soup with Smoked Paprika

750g Beetroot
2 Brown Onions (with skin)
1 Handful Fresh Thyme
3 Bay Leaves
Olive Oil
10 ml Honey
10ml Balsamic Vinegar
750ml Beef Stock 
7ml Smoked Paprika (Hot or Medium)
1 Baked potato -(optional for serving)
Sour Cream -(optional for serving)

Place the beetroot, onions, thyme, bay leaves and salt with a generous splash of olive oil in a roasting pan  and roast at 200ºC for about 60 -90 minutes until soft.
Remove the beetroot from the roasting pan, and rub the skin off (please remember the gloves).
Cut the beetroot into quarters and place in a large pot.*** (see note below)
Add the onion flesh only (no skins) .
Add the all the other ingredients and bring to a boil.
Simmer at a rolling boil for about 30 minutes.
Purée the soup to your liking, I like it smooth with a few beetroot pieces for texture.

Serving options :
***Retain one of the beetroot and cut into small dice.
Cross cut a baked potato (which you can bake together with the other ingredients) and squeeze it to make the insides puff out.
Place a serving of hot soup in your bowl, add the potato, top with sour cream and garnish with diced beetroot.
Drizzle with a little olive oil.
I served mine with pretzels, but a good rye bread would be more traditional.


lavender & lime said...

I would love this, but the hubby does not do beetroot!
Thanks for the comment on my blog - about to add you to my blog roll (now that I have learnt how)

Wendy @ Mint Tea said...

I love this!!! I actually love beetroot in most forms! Looks delicious Rose. xxx

vickys said...

I'm part of the LOVE beetroot team! And the baked potato with the oozing cream just looks so inviting. Like it's in a pool of wintry love.

Kit said...

I like beetroot, now that I have got over childhood encounters with vinegary sour tasting red lumps of it. But I never really cook it myself.
I remember it baked in hot coals in autumn in Tuscany and it was amazing, smoky and sweet, once you'd peeled off the ashy crust.

Casey Angelova said...

I think my husband will get along with lavender & lime's, but my daughter has been asking me to make a beet soup and this one looks great. It is not winter in Bulgaria, but beets are in season. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

Beautiful! I grew up hating beetroot but I think that was a result of having one too many experiences of the horrible pickled vinegary slices at braais, that stained the adjacent potato salad red. Yuk! I do lke it roasted though, and I love borscht...

Helen said...

What an amazing-looking soup. Oh my, I just love the way you've served it with the potato on top. YUM! I really like beetroot, but have never made beetroot soup - I'm not sure why, it sounds to easy. Your lovely photographs have inspired me to give it a try. Thank you.

browniegirl said...

I adore anything beetroot, excepting for the one in vinegar (unless I make it myself and the vinegar is very mild)and this will be on my menu this winter as per your photos Rose, mouthwatering!! xx

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

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