Fall is the time for root vegetables, and beets are one of my favorites! Beautiful in colour, rich in nutrients and it makes a really filling meal! Roasting beets instead of boiling them brings out their natural sugars and actually will reduce the earthiness somewhat.
I picked up about 4 large red beets at my local green grocer. Peel with rubber gloves (so your hands don’t stain!)
- 4 large red beets
- 1/2 Vidalia onion
- 4-6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 4 cups stock of your choice (I used miso, but chicken or vegetable would work well too)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Pre heat oven to 400F
- Peel beets and chop into 2 cm cubes. Add to roasting pan.
- Peel and chop onion into 1/4’s (leaving onions larger will help them slow down in cooking)
- Toss the above in olive oil and sea salt.
- Roast for about 45 minutes or until tender.
- Peel outer layer of garlic so each clove is still covered in skin.
- Using about 30cm square of parchment paper, place garlic in centre. Pour olive oil over and season with sea salt.
- Wrap garlic with parchment and wrap that bundle in foil paper. Place this garlic bundle beside the roasting pan and roast along side of the beets for about 45 minutes or until soft.
To make the soup:
- Add the roasted beets, onion and the garlic to a glass blender (squeeze the garlic from it’s casing and don’t forget to pour in the olive oil from both the pan and the parchment!)
- Add about 1 cup of the broth and blend well. The beets will be an exceptional fuchia colour.
- Add broth as required to achieve the desired consistency.
- Pour the soup through a fine sieve to remove all woody bits — this makes the soup unbelievably creamy and silky — don’t skip this step!
- Add buttermilk, if desired — it adds depth of flavour, but if you don’t like buttermilk, then by all means omit it!
- Serve this soup hot or cold, both are unbelievable.
For something different, try roasting golden beets AND red beets (in different pans) and preparing each soup separately. Pour carefully into a bowl, one side gold, the other pink or better yet, if serving cold, use a clear drinking glass and pour golden soup into bottom first then carefully pour pink on top, serve with a dallop of crème fraiche or sour cream. Wow, what a presentation that would make!