While we’re on the subject of beets… you won’t mind if I squeeze in another beet recipe, will you?
Don’t worry, my bag is almost gone.
As I was searching my mind for creative ways to use beets, I thought it would be fun to make a beet soup. Since I’d never heard of beet soup before, much less had it, I searched online to see if it had been attempted and what I could expect from it. I found this recipe for a Beet and Fennel Soup, which I thought looked really great.
Fennel AND beet, together, in one magnificent looking soup. Now THAT was original. I thought the flavor combination sounded incredible and I couldn’t wait to try it.
I bookmarked the recipe and got busy almost right away.
Just look at the color of this thing!
Now, I knew I was going to need oven roasted beets for another recipe that I had in mind, so I did things a little differently than what the recipe commanded. (Me??? Not following a recipe? Noooo! That’s impossible!)
But seriously, I didn’t derogate all that much. All I did is I quartered the beets and onions and roasted them on a baking sheet, covered with foil instead of wrapping them in foil and baking them whole. I don’t think it can’t have affected the end result all that much.
Unfortunately, when it was good and ready to serve, I finally tasted it and was somewhat disappointed. Not that it tasted bad. Only, something was off. Something just was not working out. I felt like I was eating hot pickled beets. The vinegar taste was too strong, and, well, I dunno… I think I prefer my beets cold, honestly.
Soooo, I decided to let the soup cool completely. I thought I would turn it into a cold soup.
Now THAT really sat well with me.
It might sound a little strange having to oven bake the beets for an hour and a half, then cook the fennel and simmer the soup for like 20 minutes only to then wait for it to completely cool and serve it cold in the end, but I think it works really well.
Somehow, I think cold soups should be raw. But with this one, cooked and cooled works beautifully.
I think it makes for a gorgeous and very original appetizer. Not sure I would have it as a main course, though. It might be just a tad too much. Or maybe just a light lunch…
Please, if anyone tries this one out, share your impressions. I’d love to hear what others think of it.
Who knows, maybe you will like it better hot!
FENNEL AND OVEN ROASTED BEET SOUP
(Slightly adapted from MyRecipes)
- 4 medium beets
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large onion (about 1 pound)
- 1 large fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 Royal Gala apple, peel on, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
- Chopped fennel fronds
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Leave root and 1 inch of stem on beets; scrub with a brush.
- Cut beets and onion (do not remove the skin) in quarters and arrange on a baking sheet. Add ¼ cup water, cover with foil and bake at 375°F for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until tender. Cool.
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped fennel, apple, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until fennel is tender.
- Trim off beet roots; rub off skins, and coarsely chop. Peel onion. Add beets and onion to broth mixture in pan, stirring to combine.
- Using an emersion blender, reduce soup to a smooth puree.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, place half of beet mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed beet mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining beet mixture. Return pureed beet mixture to pan.
- Stir in vinegar and lemon juice.
- Place the pureed beet mixture over medium heat, and cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- Set aside to cool for a few hours then tranfser to refrigerator to cool completely.
- Ladle soup into bowls, and top with sour cream. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds.