Saturday, January 19, 2013

roasted beet soup

i love borscht
really i do
especially on chilly nights
stick to your ribs
is a necessity
sometimes, however
i like my beet soup
to be rich and creamy
without the meatiness of a borscht
that is when
i make this
(and vegan if you don't add the creme fraiche & butter)
it is light in heft
but not in flavor
roasted beet soup

1 lb beets-peeled*
olive oil
2 leeks--white and light green only--cleaned and cut in half
2 cloves garlic--peeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
juice of 1/2 lemon + 1 tsp finely grated zest
knob of butter (optional)
1/4 tsp white pepper to taste (or more to taste)
salt to taste
serve with creme fraiche

preheat the oven to 350F. fill a roasting pan with the beets, leeks and whole garlic cloves.  cover lightly in olive oil and a bit of kosher salt.  toss to make sure the vegetables are all lightly coated in the oil. roast until fork tender (about 1 hour). allow the vegetables to cool slightly and then cut into medium size pieces (1 1/2-2").  toss the vegetables (beets, leeks, garlic), along with any pan juices into a stock pot.  add bay leaf, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest and cover with broth.  gently simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.  remove the bay leaf and the thyme stalk.  toss in butter (if using) working in batches, whirl the soup in a blender or food processor, until smooth.  if it becomes too thick, add a bit more broth (or water).  pour into clean stockpot as your batches reach your desired consistency.  if you wish for smooth and silky soup, push the blended soup through a fine sieve.  add pepper and taste for seasoning.  serve hot with a dollop of creme fraiche stirred through
*for my soup i used a variety of colors, you can use whichever beets you have on hand.  use red to get the great color of this soup, but golden beet soup would be beautiful as well.


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