Monday, July 21, 2014
Meatless Monday: Beetroot and apple soup with horseradish yoghurt
That photo doesn't really do justice to the pinky-purple visual delight of this soup. I admit, quite a lot of the food I make is ugly, just not really very photogenic at all. This beauty though is a feast for the visual sense as well. It's also easy-as.
It starts with roasting beetroot, and a little bit of Lady McBeth peeling and chopping. Wear gloves if you're likely to get all 'out, damn'd spot' about stained hands. If you're time pressed, it can start with one of those vacuum-sealed packs of pre-cooked beetroot, but that's a lot less literary minded, don't you think?
Apart from the roasting beetroot, the soup starts in the way of most soups, with a well-chopped mirepoix of onion, celery and carrot, sauteeing in a little olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on the stovetop.
When that's softened, I add two grated apples, skins and all because pffft, peeling off fruit and vegetable skins you can eat is not my scene. I used Granny Smiths, but any tart and non-floury variety will work.
Add the cooked and chopped beetroot (about 500g) and then a litre to 1.5 litres of vegetable stock, depending on how thick you want your soup. Drop in a big piece of star anise and then let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
While that's simmering away, mix together a teaspoon or two of horseradish sauce (or your own fresh grated horseradish) with a few tablespoons of natural yoghurt. Set aside.
Fish out the anise, season with salt and pepper and then puree the soup in a blender or with a hand-held one, being very careful not to stain the white grout of your tiled splashback (oops).
Service with chopped chives if you have them or chopped baby spinach if you don't as well as a liberal dollop of the horseradish yoghurt.
If you're after a vegan and dairy free version, substitute the natural yoghurt with a non-dairy alternative or cut it altogether. If you do cut it go steady on the horseradish sauce and add to taste as the yoghurt helps to tone down the flavour and keep it out of your sinuses.
This one was toddler approved as long as he had handfuls of crusty bread to dip into it. But just be warned about the post-soup nappy surprise.
Have you tried a beetroot soup before? If you're interested in other kinds, check out Lila's Beeting Heart soup, which comes with chestnuts. Yum.