Beetroot is known to be a member of the ‘Super Food’ group and you know what I agree, it is pretty ‘Super’ no pun intended. The scarlet flesh hiding behind it’s tough and muddied skin, that only deepens in colour as you cook it. The natural sweetness and earthy tones are a perfect platform for acidic flavours, fresh herbs and creamy cheeses. Not to mention the health benefits of this little power house of a vegetable. Beetroot, despite staining my hands, tea towels and apron… I salute you!
Serves 4. You will need a blender or a stick blender.
Beetroot – 2 bunches (10-12 whole ones)
Carrot – 1
Celery – 2 stalks
Onion – 1 medium sized
Garlic, finely chopped – 3 cloves
Fresh Ginger, finely chopped – A chunk, thumb sized
Vegetable Stock – 750ml – 1ltr
Wasabi powder – 1-2 teaspoons *See Tips
Dijon mustard – 1 tablespoon
Red Wine Vinegar – 1 Tablespoon
Sour Cream – enough to dollop on top
The Feta Toasts
Crusty Bread – A few slices
Garlic – 1 fresh clove
Feta – 100g
Chopped herbs such as : Dill, Mint or Parsley.
The Soup: To cook the Beetroots, don’t worry about peeling them or anything because that would just take forever. Just pop them into a pan of salted water and boil them for around 45 minutes, until tender when a knife is inserted. Run them under some cold water so you can handle them and the skins should just slip of easily.
Meanwhile, chop the onion, carrot, celery and potato into a small dice. This is what is know as a ‘Mirepoix’ which is the basis of most soup and stocks (not always including potato). Gently melt a knob of butter and a little olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for a few minutes. Now add the rest of the Mirepoix and continue cooking for 5 minutes more. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute.
Once you have skinned your beetroot, chop it into smaller chunks and add this to the saucepan. Pour the stock into the saucepan, you want enough to cover all the vegetables (you can always add more later). Gently simmer this for a further 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked. Blend this until all of the vegetables have been blitzed to a puree. Return the soup to the pan if you have used a jug blender and add the Dijon, Vinegar, Wasabi and Salt and Pepper to taste. Stir this in well and add more as you feel is needed. Some people like a good punch so add more Wasabi and Dijon, go easy though, add in small amounts. Remember you can add but you can’t take away. If you feel it needs to be more liquid you can add more stock . Cook for a further few minutes and serve. I like mine with a dollop of sour cream and a good sprinkle of black pepper.
The Toasts: Grill the slices on both sides lightly. Rub one side of the toast lightly with a raw clove of garlic ( this is optional but I love garlic). Sprinkle some crumbled Feta onto the toast and grill for a further minute. Drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle a few herbs on top. Serve alongside the soup, dip in and enjoy.
– Wasabi is a member of the Brassicaceae family, along with Horseradish and mustard, giving that pungent kind of hotness. I have made this with paste wasabi, fresh horseradish and powdered wasabi. It all depends what you can get hold of. You can even omit it if that isn’t your cup of tea, it will be equally delicious.