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This comforting roasted beetroot soup with its invigorating colour and health benefits will definitely lift any winter blues.
By roasting the beetroot in their skins before adding it to the soup, it brings out its natural sweetness, while still retaining its vivid, appealing colour.
In general, a bowl of soup is an easy go-to and fuss-free Winter warming meal, full of goodness and diverse in flavours and textures.
How healthy are soups?
As soup is good for the soul, that applies to the body too. It is fact that those who eat soup on a regular basis, have a higher fibre and nutritional intake compared to those who don’t. Most soups are also low in calories and have higher satiety, keeping you full between mealtimes.
Making soups more exciting
One remedy to make soup courses more appealing is to accompany it with interesting gluten-free bread, scones, rolls or crackers. A hearty quiche or a toasted sandwich will also go down well with a bowl of soup on the side.
For those trying to convince the family to eat more soup, start off with small offerings in mugs and slowly increase the portion to a full bowl of soup, with some form of carbs on the side.
Health benefits of beetroot
This powerful root vegetable has joined the superfood list as a top choice to eat on a regular basis. Whether it is roasted, boiled, pickled, blended raw into a smoothie or grated into a salad, beetroot is packed with Vit C, folate, magnesium, potassium and has the cancer-fighting compound betacyanin.
It improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure and promotes optimal gut health, something many celiac and non-celiac gluten intolerant folks could benefit from.
Availability of beetroot
Beetroot seems to be an economical vegetable to buy in Europe and has a long shelf life, especially if stored chilled. They are available all year round but are at their best and sweetest in peak season between summer to early autumn. The leaves can also be eaten raw in a salad or stir-fried with other vegetables.
If you are a serious beetroot lover, plan ahead and buy beetroot in bulk during peak season. Roast or boil beetroot and freeze them in portions to use in recipes all year round. Pickling them is a great way to incorporate beetroot into salads during the warmer months.
Nowadays, pre-cooked beetroot is sold vacuum-packaged at most supermarkets. This is so convenient if you are out of time to clean, cook and peel the skins off the beetroot. However, using pre-cooked beetroot will not work well in this roasted beetroot soup recipe as the key requirement is to roast the beetroot to achieve that unique sweet wholesome flavour in the soup.
If you’ve never made roasted beetroot before, you will be pleasantly surprised by how easy and delicious it is to prepare. What’s more, roasting retains valuable nutrients which are easily lost when boiled.
How to eat roasted beetroot
Besides using roasted beetroot in soups, here are some other ways to use them:
Baked Beetroot in Foil
Wrap each beetroot in foil to roast and serve them like jacket/baked potatoes. Fill them with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped spring onions or chives.
Serve chopped roasted beetroot warm with pasta or pureed in homemade pasta dough. Ever seen pink or red pasta at the shops? This is how it is made!
Puree the roasted beetroot and add them to potatoes to make homemade gnocchi.
Sprinkle small chopped roasted beetroot over ricotta topped crostinis or blinis to serve as a nice appetiser or party food.
Add roasted beetroot to salads and top with crumbled feta or goat’s cheese. Dress with some balsamic vinegar or honey.
Accompany any roast meat dish with a medley of roasted vegetables including beetroot.
The beetroot juice easily stains your hands and chopping boards when cleaning, peeling the skin and chopping the beetroot. I would suggest wearing latex gloves whenever handling them and placing a sheet of baking paper over the chopping board to make washing up easier. If you would rather not use gloves, any stains can be removed by rubbing salt and lemon juice onto your hands and rinsing them off with warm water and soap.
I would also advise using a jug blender or a food processor over a stick blender to puree beetroot. Mainly due to the vibrant and staining colour potentially going everywhere in your kitchen and over you. I still have splash mark stains on my kitchen wall that I may have to consider painting over!!
In this recipe, either fresh or store-bought horseradish cream is added to sour cream or creme fraîche to mellow down its peppery flavour. The cream has a slight kick to it and radish-like flavour, complimenting the roasted beetroot soup perfectly. It also looks attractive in the centre of the soup with garnishing.
Fresh horseradish on its own is hot, spicy and nippy. The heat is felt through the nose and sinuses rather than the mouth, which is great for those suffering a head cold or inflamed sinusitis.
Roasted Beetroot Soup
- vegetable brush cleaner
- a pair of latex gloves
- a sheet of baking paper
ROASTED BEETROOT SOUP
- 4 fresh beetroots
- 2 red onions, unpeeled
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 750 ml store-bought or homemade vegetable stock
- 250 ml water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 4 cm piece of fresh horseradish, or
- 2 tsp store-bought grated horseradish, in a jar
- 150 ml creme fraîche or sour cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp white pepper
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of sugar
- 2 tsp fresh chives, snipped
- 2 tbsp roasted beetroot, diced into small cubes(prepared earlier)
ROASTED BEETROOT SOUP
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Slightly crush the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves.
- Cut the unpeeled red onion in half.
- Wearing disposable gloves (to prevent stained red hands!), wash and scrub the whole beetroots using a vegetable brush cleaner.
- Place them on a baking tray and add the garlic cloves, onions, thyme and bay leaf. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Mix everything either using your hands or with tongs.
- Add a third of the vegetable stock.
- Roast for 50 mins covered with foil.
- Remove foil and roast for a further 15 mins, or until the beetroot can be easily pierced with a knife.
- Allow to cool covered loosely with some plastic film before removing the ends and skin. The skin should easily peel off.
- Chop the beetroot in rough pieces and put aside enough beetroot to dice into small cubes as a garnish.
- Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf.
- Remove the skins off the garlic and onions,
- Blend the cooked beetroot together with the garlic and onions.
- Blend until it becomes a smooth puree, adding the rest of the vegetable stock until it loosens up and gets to the texture you like.
- Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan or a slow cooker and gently heat up, tasting and adjusting the seasoning to your liking.
- In a small bowl or measuring jug, combine all the horseradish cream ingredients. Set aside or chill until serving time.
- Serve in warm bowls topped with the horseradish cream, snipped chives and reserved beetroot cubes.
- Any leftover beetroot soup seems to taste better the next day as the flavours blend and develop more
- The beetroot soup keeps for 4 days chilled
- Suitable to freeze
- The horseradish cream keeps for 2 days chilled & is not suitable to freeze
FREEZING TIPTry to freeze in Pyrex or glass freezer-safe containers to avoid staining Tupperware or other plastic containers.
Try to freeze in Pyrex freezer-safe containers to avoid staining Tupperware or other plastic containers