Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Heart Beets for You

Yep. It’s beet, not beats.
Here’s a wonderful creamy roasted beet soup, that premiered at Soup and Bread, on February 13, 2013. This is just a perfect light start to a romantic dinner. (But yes, you can make it after Valentine’s Day is over.)

Creamy Roasted Beet Soup
Vegetarian   Gluten-Free
Makes 4-6 servings

2 large beets (about 1 ½ lbs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped leeks
½ cup chopped celery
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
1 bay leaf
5 -6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons agave syrup (or honey)
1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons fresh cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets. Cut beets into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

In large pot put in the olive oil and butter, sauté onions, leeks and celery over medium heat till soft and slightly browned (about 10 minutes). Make sure to season* the vegetables. Stir in ginger, allspice, white pepper, and chopped beets. Cook until vegetables begin to stick to bottom of pot, stirring frequently (about 7 minutes).  Add in the vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender (about 25 minutes). Set aside and remove bay leaf. Easiest way is to use an immersion blender to blend the soup till creamy. If not, let the soup cool and working in batches, blend in a blender. Put everything back in the pot. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, agave and cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche (or sour cream) and fresh chopped dill.

*I like to season (add salt and pepper) in stages as I cook. This helps to build the flavor in layers as the food cooks. You can do a final season at the end to make sure it suits your tastes.

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