I love the magnificent, glorious colour of a beetroot soup. Instantly distinctive. And a rather unusual choice it seems. Beware if you make a beetroot soup and eat it in a public space at work for a few days in a row. There will be speculation that you've taken complete leave of your senses, whacked out and gone on some kind of crazy beetroot diet, when all you really did was make a batch of soup to take to work for lunch, and you're trying to vary things a bit, get some nutrition and antioxidants.
This recipe is from the August-September 2010 (#31) issue of dish, an interesting New Zealand food magazine. Their version involves roasting buttercup pumpkins to use as a serving vessel and making beetroot chips as a garnish. I rarely go the extra yards to make a garnish. Not sure why. I'm happy to slave away at the soup itself, but don't usually make the garnish.
Roasted Beetroot, Parsnip and Apple Soup
1 red onion
3 tblsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tblsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tsp caraway seeds
4 cups vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roasted buttercup pumpkins
Beetroot chips, optional
1 tblsp chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 200C
Peel all the vegetables and the apple and cut into 1cm thick slices
Place in a large bowl with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and caraway seeds.
Toss well to combine and season generously. Tip onto a large lined baking tray and cover tightly with aluminium foil. Roast for 40-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until all the vegetables are very tender.
Working in batches, put the vegetables in a food processor with a cup of the stock and process until smooth. Tip into a clean saucepan and repeat with the remaining vegetables and stock. Add any remaining stock to the soup. Season and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
To serve: Ladle into bowls, or if using the roasted pumpkins, place these in shallow bowls and ladle in the soup. Top with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with beetroot chips and a sprinkling of chives.
(As I only ate this soup at work and not at home, I forgot to photograph it at home, so only have a dodgy iphone image to show)
Makes about 8 cups. Serves 6-8.
I didn't use the roasted pumpkins even though it made a lovely looking presentation. It was their cover recipe (should be on the website til the new issue comes out I guess, it's there now)
I didn't use the caraway seeds. I don't like them. And I didn't want a repeat of the recent Fennel Seed Incident.
I used some delicious ras el hanout instead. Since I don't have a lot of experience cooking with it, I probably didn't use quite as much as I should.
I didn't see any point in putting the cut vegies in a bowl to toss them, I just did it in the baking tray. Why get beetroot over more things than absolutely necessary? And I just noticed when typing this, that the tray was supposed to be lined. Oops! I'm sure it didn't matter.
The first day I didn't have any sour cream either (bad trip to the supermarket it seems), it needs it. Well, the sour cream helps it, the number of items not helped by sour cream are relatively few it must be said.
I forgot to buy chives the day I made it, and couldn't be bothered going back to the shops- I really need to get the herb garden going again, and now that we are officially out of drought it seems like a possibility.