Friday, July 1, 2011

Beet Soup

If a beet appetizer is on the menu, I cannot not order it.  I shudder to imagine all the lovely soups or inventive appetizers I’ve missed through the years with my blind eye towards the beet, but now it’s an addiction I just can’t quit.  Red, golden, roasted, in soup, with nuts, pickled, I adore every beet.  

A former co-worker and I keep in touch simply by updating each other on new new beet plates to try around New York City.  A recent favorite in the West Village, here, I will be attempting to recreate it on this blog shortly.

To my delight, this week’s CSA delivery included both golden and red beets: 

Inspired by a Cheeky Kitchen post, I settled on beet soup.  The problem is … I cheated.  With leftover beets from a farmer’s market run last weekend already cooked, I didn't roast the beets.  My end result was gorgeous in color, but a little bland, and actually too beety in flavor.  Not the "good" beety, more the canned watery beety flavor. Minus one point LaurenLocally.  

I remedied this by adding in a solid spoonful or two of crème fraiche.  In the end, I enjoyed my soup with a side of toasted French bread with garlic scape pesto and was satisfied.  

What follows is my recipe, a "healthier" (bland?) feeling soup unless you add in the crème fraiche.  Dear reader, if earthy is what you are after, I suggest roasting your beets.  Drizzling olive oil on trimmed beets for 35-45 minutes at 425 degrees should do the trick.

Beet Soup
  • 6 red or golden beets, trimmed and cleaned with skins still intact
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Crème fraiche
  • Bring a medium size pot of water, enough to cover the beets, to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour until tender.  Drain the beets and let cool slightly until you are able to handle.  Peel and roughly chop beets.  Since these are being pureed, uniformity is not required!
  • In a deep saute pan or soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the shallots over medium heat until just glistening, 4-5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and beets. 
  • Using an immersion blender, transferring to a food processor or stand-up blender, puree until smooth. 
  • Return to pot, without heat, and season generously with salt and pepper. 
  • Mix in 2-4 tablespoons of creme fraiche. 
  • Serve topped with an extra dollop of creme fraiche. 

Your soup will look something like this:

About Beets
Long used for medicinal purposes to address ailments such as fevers and open wounds, beets have been cultivated since second millennium BC.  Both the beets leafy tops and roots are edible.  

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