The Soup That Can’t Be Beet
Borscht – a traditional beetroot soup from Eastern Europe – is often served chunky but we love it when it’s smooth and earthy with the tang of soured cream to cut through the sweet beets.
This recipe from Leon Happy Soups by Rebecca Seal and John Vincent (£15.99, Conran, Octopus) is packed full of beetroot, which is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, manganese and fibre. The veg also helps to lower blood pressure and boost exercise performance!
Melt a knob of butter with 1tsp of vegetable oil in a large pan over a low heat. Chop up 350g of peeled beetroot, one small onion, one leek (white part only) and a celery stick, add to the pan and sweat for 10 mins or so, stirring often so that the vegetables don’t catch on the bottom.
Add 150g chopped potato and one medium peeled and diced potato to the pan, then add 1 litre of hot beef or vegetable stock, a pinch of allspice, a bay leaf and some freshly ground black pepper. Bring up to a simmer, then leave to cook for 15-20 mins, or until all the vegetables are really tender. For the last 5 mins of cooking, add a clove of crushed garlic.
Remove from the heat, take out the bay leaf and stir in ½ tbsp of cider vinegar and ½ tbsp of lemon juice. Taste and add more seasoning, if necessary.
Blend the soup until smooth. Serve with a tablespoon of soured cream swirled into each bowl, topped with fresh dill.