Roasted Beet Soup

I’m baaaaack! I know its been ages since I’ve posted any new recipes. Sorry about that. I had to give myself half a semester off to focus on graduating college. But now I’ve done that (hooray!) and I plan to get back to cooking a lot more. As you can see, I revamped my site in honor of this new beginning. We’ll see how we feel about the new setup.

So, to kick things off, here’s a beautiful roasted beet soup.

Okay, yeah, I know. It doesn’t sound that exciting. To be perfectly honest I didn’t have solid expectations of it myself when I was developing it. I mostly just wanted to utilize beets because I thought they would make a really good-looking, hot soup. (Chilled borscht always bothers me, for some reason).

But look! It does! In taste it is a mild but flavorful soup. It balances the sweetness of the beets but builds on that great earthy flavor with mustard and thyme. While not the most hearty soup, I’d say it would make a perfect starter or side dish, especially if you wanted to impress company with presentation. Oh, and it’s also vegetarian and gluten-free.


Roasted Beet Soup

You will need:

  • 3 beets (just the root)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose gluten-free flour (or regular)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • About 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

First things first, you need to roast the beets. If yours still have the leaves attached you can jut trim them off close to the root with kitchen shears. Make sure you wash them, but you don’t need to peel them yet. Just wrap all 3 in a sheet of aluminum foil, then put that on a baking sheet so that juices can’t drip onto the oven floor. Place that in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Open the foil packet a bit when it comes out to let them cool for a while.

While those are cooling, dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic. It doesn’t need to be too fine because it’s all getting blended up at the end anyway. Let a large soup pot heat up over medium heat, then add the oil. Cook the onions and garlic together, stirring occasionally, until soft and just starting to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Just keep an eye on them and you can peel the beets while the mixture is cooking. The skins should peel right off at this point. Trim off the top and bottom too, then roughly chop each beet. Yeah, your fingers will be all purple now. Add the chopped beets to the pot and watch everything else turn that same color. Add the flour to thicken the soup and let it cook for a minute to get that raw flour taste out. You can easily use regular all-purpose flour here instead if you aren’t gluten-free. Pour in the 4 cups of vegetable broth, which is usually just one whole carton. Take the thyme leaves off the stems and add that, along with the dry mustard. You can use dried thyme here instead if you prefer.

Add the vinegar and the shredded parmesan to give the soup just a little sharpness. And yes, you should use actual parmesan you shred yourself here. The kind in the tube just isn’t the same. Finally, add the cream, black pepper and cayenne. If you have an immersion blender, use that to purée your soup to a totally smooth consistency. If you don’t, very carefully pour the soup into a blender and do it that way, then add it back to the pot. Let the  puréed soup simmer over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, just to let the flavors meld. After that, it’s ready to serve. I garnish mine with a few swirls of cream and extra sprigs of fresh thyme.


 

The earthy flavors of this soup would make it a great beginning to a fall or winter meal, or pair it with a cold salad and maybe some grilled meat for a summer feast.

 

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