Beetroot Soup with Chive Cream
This soup gets a rapturous reaction served either hot or chilled, but to have its magical sweetness the beets must be young. For Golden Beetroot Soup, use Golden Detroit here.
900g (2lbs) young beetroot (we use Boltardy for this soup)
225g (8oz) onions, chopped
25g (1oz/1/4 cup) butter
approx. 1.2 litres (2 pints/5 cups) hot homemade chicken
or vegetable stock
125ml (4 1/2fl oz/generous 1/2 cup) creamy full-fat milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
125ml (4 1/2fl oz/generous 1/2 cup) soured cream or crème fraiche
finely chopped chives, to serve
Wash the beetroot carefully under a cold tap. Don’t scrub, simply rub off the soil with your fingers. You don’t want to damage the skin or cut off the top or tails because they will ‘bleed’ in the cooking. Put the beetroots into a pan of cold water and simmer, covered, for anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size and age of the roots. The beetroots are cooked when the skins will rub off easily.
Meanwhile, sweat the onions carefully gently in the butter for about 10 minutes until they are cooked.
Chop the beetroot and add to the onions. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Put into a liquidiser with the hot stock. Liquidise until quite smooth.
Reheat, add some creamy milk, taste and adjust the seasoning – it may be necessary to add a little more stock or creamy milk.
Serve garnished with little swirls of soured cream or crème fraiche, and a sprinkling of finely chopped chives.
Watchpoint: careful not to damage the beetroot during preparation or they will bleed
Chilled Beetroot Soup
Proceed as in the master recipe above to *. Liquidise with just enough stock to cover. The mixture should be smooth and silky. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Fold in some cream and yoghurt.
Serve well chilled in small bowls with little swirls of yoghurt and finely chopped chives.
Chilled Beetroot Soup with Goat Cheese, Cucumber and Dill
Add a few blobs of soft goat cheese, and cucumber dice.
Garnish with a sprigs of dill and dill flowers.