Today is the first installment of recipes for Soup Week! As regular readers of this blog know, soup plays a very important culinary and emotional part in my life. I was trying to sit on this soup recipe until the end of the week because it's color is quite appropriate for a certain holiday coming up this weekend…but I'm frankly just so excited about it, I can't hold off anymore!
More often than not, I tend to gravitate toward really pure and simple recipes. Just because something is simple doesn't mean it is lacking in depth of flavor or richness. I saw this soup at Shaun's, a great restaurant here in Atlanta, and was stunned. Everything about it was so simple but complex at the same time. When I asked about the soup, my server was kind enough to give me the (very short) list of ingredients. I'm sure the twinkle in my eye told him that I was going to replicate this soup immediately – and I did.
The brilliant thing about this soup is that – outside of the roasting time for the beets – it has only a few items in it you'll need to obtain that you wouldn't normally have in your pantry and also takes no time to puree. The simplicity of this soup allows the richness and distinctive flavor of the beets to shine through. The texture of it borders on a veloute – it's that smooth and airy. Definitely taste as you go and add salt and pepper as you see fit. Feel free to add any other taste or spices to this recipe because its so easily adaptable. However, it's quite delicious on its own with a garnish of fresh grated horseradish or fresh snipped chives as the end…and a luxurious swirl of creme fraiche.
Creamy Roasted Beet Soup – makes two entree size servings
– Roast beets whole with skin on in a 375 degree oven for about an hour or until
fork tender. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven – they should be fork tender and the skin should come off easily. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut off the ends/greens and
remove the skin.
– Chop the beets into small, evenly sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the beets and warm through but do not try and cook them further. Add to blender and gradually puree the beets with the vegetable stock – add the stock in batches as you need to. You are not trying to make the soup thin – you're just trying to make it easier to puree them in the blender. As with ANY warm food in the blender, make sure you leave some room or crack the lid because it will explode if you have overly hot food in there!
– Once you have the beets pureed, gradually add the heavy cream to the blender.You can add as much or as little as you want depending on taste and how rich you want the soup. If you want it thinner, you can add more vegetable stock during the puree process. Once you get the desired consistency, salt and pepper to taste.
– Transfer soup to a storage container and allow to sit refrigerated for at least 3-4 hours. This helped the richness of flavors immensely. Soup is always better the next day! To serve, warm soup thoroughly. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of horseradish or chives. Serve immediately.