……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

[Five-Spice] Beet Soup January 6, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Vegetarian — Michelle Jackson @ 6:27 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’ve never cooked beets. Until now, I’m also pretty sure I’ve never eaten them either… there was always something kind of unappealing (and hairy) about them to me. I had a friend in elementary school who used to eat pickled beets & tuna fish sandwiches at lunch… is that a thing people do? I thought it looked kinda gross. Anyway, this year, especially as a new vegetarian, I’m trying to go outside my comfort zone and try new things.  So here we go, BonAppetit, bring on the beets.

4 2- to 2 1/2-inch-diameter beets, scrubbed, trimmed, unpeeled, each cut into 6 wedges (about 3 1/2 cups) (The beets came in bunches of three, so I just got one bunch, and it was fine.)

3 cups vegetable broth, divided (I used unsalted for health reasons, but you could use whatever you like.)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced (2 cups) (I used a white one because that’s what I had.)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 celery stalk with leaves, stalk chopped, leaves sliced … where the hell was the celery in the 5th Ave Key Food today?

2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger (sorry, I used granulated ginger.)

1/4 teaspoon (or more) Chinese five-spice powder (I don’t have this, nor could I find it in the store– contrary to BA’s recommendation. I just added about a teaspoon each of garlic powder, chili flakes, ground red pepper, and ground black pepper instead. I like things on the spicy side, so do taste test it before adding too much of any one spice.)

Sour cream or plain yogurt (I used plain yogurt.)

Start by cleaning the beets (don’t wear anything white as things tend to get a little messy and pink beet stuff splatters a lot). Scrub off the rough parts, cut off the tips, and trim off the hairs. This is not nearly as gross as it sounds. Then cut them into wedges or cubes, place in a bowl with 2 cups of vegetable stock. Microwave them for 15 minutes, covered. While the beets are in the microwave, prepare the onion and garlic and saute them lightly in olive oil at the bottom of a large soup pot or saucepan. Add the beet mixture to the onions/garlic and then pour in the last cup of vegetable broth. Let that simmer for about 10 minutes.  Spice to taste.  Transfer in batches to the blender and puree the mixture.  Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt, greek yogurt, or sour cream.

This soup has a really earthy flavor… since I’ve never tried beets before it’s hard for me to know what to expect… it is quite spicy though which is great.  The color is also just fabulously vibrant, so I think I’d make this again for a special occasion as an accent dish.

p.s. to K, I stole your strike-through technique on the ingredients list. Good call.


7 Responses to “[Five-Spice] Beet Soup”

  1. Sydney Jones Says:

    Oh so simple! I bet it tastes amazing 🙂 I am making this tomorrow for lunch, Thanks!

  2. Maire Dekle Says:

    i. adore. beets. (especially in my mom’s borscht — strips of beets, little carrot circles, potato hunks, cabbage floating about in this beautiful slightly sweet, clean-tasting broth.) thanks for this excellent tuna/pickled beet combo concept… though i guess i should be thanking your elementary school friend?

  3. vespachick Says:

    I never thought of beets being hairy even though I’ve cooked with them. Cutting the hairs off of beets conjures up a vision of an old woman’s chin. Great looking soup though.

  4. krandle Says:

    I made something with beets last night too! (recipe to follow) I just peeled mine instead of de-hairing them.

  5. […] we felt healthier, but had cooked so much that we had too many leftovers to handle. M decided beet soup was not a recipe to repeat. I decided that that I need to put more vegetables on a plate when […]

  6. maire Says:

    you know what else is awkwardly hairy? daikon radishes. shudder.

  7. […] nibbling on raw beet skin–I peeled my beets rather than taking the hair off, as M did for her beet soup–I noticed that the flavors are much more subdued in fresh beets. When they’ve been […]

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