I must say right from the beginning – my relationship with beetroots is complicated. I’m particularly not fond of its “earthy” taste, to put it soft and overall do not like this vegetable, especially on its own. Having said this, I know that it’s good for you and all this stuff… This is why I’m in constant search of recipes that could give me the chance to eat it with at least some pleasure. That is the reason I recently bought quite a considerable quantity of beetroots (plus the fact that they are now in season) – I’ve got lots of new recipes to try. Thank God Sergey likes beets, so I hope I won’t have to throw away lots of them.
The soup below is one of my latest happy findings and I really loved the taste from the very first spoon. I found the recipe in Duchy Original Cookbook – and since this is only the first recipe we tried from this book (it has its special place on our countertop now), you’ll probably see another recipe from it soon.
The soup’s rich colour gives it a really warming feel, while the croutons (I made them with simple homemade bread), add a delightful crunch. I also preferred to prepare the vegetarian version, using rich homemade vegetable stock, instead of originally recommended beef one. We also prefer our soup a bit ticker so we used less stock but if you don’t, just follow the recipe.
Prep and cooking time: 35 minutes (+20 for the beet)
For the soup:
2 medium carrots, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3-4 medium tomatoes, peeled &chopped
1 large onion, sliced
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
4 cups beef or vegetable stock
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 big beet, cooked and diced
Salt and ground black pepper
½ cup sour cream
For the croutons:
4 slices good quality wheat bread
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil (or butter)
Begin by cooking the beet with the skin on in slightly salted water. In about 20-30 minutes it will be ready. Let it cool and then rub the skin off and trim each end. Dice the cooked beet and leave it on side.
In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter over low to moderate heat. Add the carrots, garlic and onions and cook, until softened. Keep the lid on the saucepan, except to give the mixture an occasional stir. When carrots start to soften, add chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for few more minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and the sugar and continue to cook for a minute or two. Pour in the bouillon and add the potatoes and thyme. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
Meanwhile prepare the croutons – toss the the bread cubes around in a bowl along with a little salt and pepper, the thyme and olive oil. Dry fry the bread cubes over low heat, stirring regularly until they are nice and brown, and reserve until needed.
When potatoes are soft, add the beetroot and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth and season with the salt and pepper. Swirl in the sour cream and serve warm, garnished with the croutons.
The perfect healthy and warming vegetable soup for beet haters.