|Red Beet Soup with Sour Cream|
Recipe inspired by Healing Foods
After my unexpected success with Golden Beet Soup with Herbs, I considered an even greater challenge: Red Beet Soup based on Miriam Polunin’s Carrot Cilantro Soup recipe. Inspiration, or more correctly motivation, came from the two bunches of red beets we have from our CSA, with another bunch on the way this week.
|Red and Green Ingredients|
|Use Deep, Narrow Pot for Immersion Blending|
Note the shape of saucepan recommended: deep and narrow. This is to prevent splashes when pureeing with an immersion blender. If you’re using another style of blender or food processor, be wary of staining splashes.
Feel free to substitute other herbs to your taste. Oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, or rosemary might be good. Quantity-wise, remember that rosemary is strongest, and thyme and oregano can also be quite a bit stronger than dill.
serves 2 - 3
1 bunch red beets, about 1 ¼ lbs.
1 tsp. butter or olive oil
2 cups hot water
1 Not-Beef bouillon cube
5 tbsp. chopped, packed dill, divided
salt if needed
freshly ground pepper
3 or more tbsp. sour cream, yogurt, or half and half
Wash and peel beets and slice about 1 inch thick. Cut up large pieces so all pieces are more or less uniform in size, so they’ll cook evenly.
Heat butter or oil in deep, narrow saucepan. Add beets and cook over medium high heat for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring up from bottom of pan frequently till beets start to sweat liquid and all surfaces are evenly coated with oil or butter and beet liquid.
Mix bouillon cube with hot water and break up. You needn’t dissolve it fully. Add to beets and bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes, till beets can be pierced with fork but not fall apart. For a smoother soup, cook beets until soft, about 30 – 35 minutes. For thicker soup (as I made it), leave the lid off until liquid level is slightly below beets.
Meanwhile, wash dill and separate leaves from stems. Chop or snip dill to medium fine.
Use an immersion blender to puree the beets and liquid in the pot. I don’t recommend using an immersion blender container, blender or food processor. The beets are still partially hard, and their staining liquid is apt to splash while processing. Using a deep, narrow pot helps to confine things. Puree to the consistency you like, from slightly chunky to super-smooth. Note that super-smooth will only be possible if beets are cooked till soft.
Add 3 tbsp. chopped dill and blend slightly, just until evenly distributed. Don’t overblend or you’ll lose all visible dill in the redness. Soup is now ready to serve, with garnishes.
Fill individual bowls and add 1 tbsp. or so of sour cream or half and half to each. Alternatively, let diners add their own at the table. In either case, garnish each bowl with additional chopped dill and a grind of pepper.
Serve with extra pepper, sour cream or half and half, and dill to garnish. Most people will not need salt, but you might include it for tradition’s sake.