Ruby Red Roasted Beet Soup
One last winter soup, with the last of the winter's root vegetables!
From the marketplace anyway, not from my personal store. Boy I miss my garden! Better luck for an apartment with a yard next year, right? Come on, university housing roulette. Mama needs crib space and a row of peas.
I found this soup on Cheeky Kitchen (I have really been plundering her recipe files lately, and I recommend them to anyone...) and I couldn't resist its bright red color and creamy thickness.
Besides, don't they say that the brightest colored fruits and vegetables have the most nutrients? Well, I am gestating a pint-sized human here, and nothing's brighter than beets.
The soup had a fascinating flavor, unlike anything I've had before. I've always been a fan of beets (well, since puberty anyways), but I've only ever had them raw (and canned, but that experience does not bear mentioning here). They are sweet and flavorful, like carrots but stronger, and of course they will dye your teeth and fingers for days. They also have just the slightest edge to them, a bite, maybe, not spicy, but something just a little...interesting. Rutabega-esque, perhaps (strokes chin thoughtfully).
This soup played up that sweet yet edgy flavor, accenting it with olive oil and onion. I found the yogurt/sour cream/creme fraiche swirl to be a must, otherwise it might have been too strong. But those with braver palates could go without!
So. I dedicate this soup to the end of winter. And despite all its lovely, rough, starchy, nutritious vegetables that look terrible on the outside and gorgeous on the inside, I'm glad to see the back end of it.
Ruby Red Roasted Beet Soup
4 red beets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese or 1/4 cup of sour cream/plain yogurt/creme fraiche
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Clean beets and trim the greens from the bulbs. Slice the beets in half and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Clean the shallot similarly, slicing off the two ends of the shallot and removing any papery skin. Slice the shallot into fourths and place alongside beets. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt and pepper.
Roast in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the beets are soft and tender when poked with a fork.
Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool slightly before scooping the soft flesh from the skin and placing into a blender. Add the roasted shallot, stock, and fresh thyme. Puree until smooth.
Transfer to a small pot, heat until steaming. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese or sour cream.