Beetroot soup has always had a whiff of borscht about it and I’m not one for cold soup. Not even the most delicate of gazpacho can tempt me to more than a few spoonfuls. I wanted a warming, hearty soup but I did not want to redecorate the kitchen in varying shades of fuchsia while trying to achieve this. Purple beetroot is a glorious colour but there’s always varying degrees of risk when cooking with it. Every person, pet and piece of kitchen equipment is playing beetroot roulette.
There’s not much point in wasting the striped beetroot in a soup either. Rumour has it that instead of being the baby pink you envisaged it goes more of an off-grey. The only other off-grey thing I can think of is gruel. Nobody wants to eat gruel. By happy chance there is another shade of beetroot that can save all this heartache. A beetroot that results in soup that looks like a bowl of sunshine. Not only does the golden beetroot look happy, it makes you happy because there’s much less messing around.
If you are brave, dressed head to toe in beetroot proof gear and preferably cooking outside, you can of course attempt this with the purple beetroot. If you do, I would recommend roasting the beetroot first, peeling it and then adding it to the soup as detailed below. This way you will only have carmine fingers to worry about.
You will need (for two big bowls):
- 4-5 golden beetroot, peeled and roughly diced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 stick celery, sliced
- Oil for frying
- 1 bay leaf
- 600ml vegetable stock
- Crème fraîche to serve (if liked)