Sunday, May 21, 2006

Soupe de betterave

Very often, when searching for something to cook, I browse the food blogs for interesting recipes. A little over a month ago, Clotilde posted a recipe for a Soupe de Betterave, Pate d'Anchois aux Noix and, to say the least, I was intrigued. At that time, I had some Walnuts languishing on a shelf and I was excited to put them to good use.

Unfortunately, I never did use those walnuts and ended up going down to Mexico and moving back to New York before I had a chance to cook again. But, once set up in a kitchen again, I was ready to try my own version at a Beet Boup.

When I hear "Beet Soup," I automatically think of a rich Borscht, with a scoop of Sour Cream served in it, then swirled around before eating. I really did consider adding Anchovies and/or Walnuts to the cream, but got lazy at the last minute. This Soup was really incredibly easy. Since I've been suffering from a slight head cold, I decided to make the Soup extra oniony to give it a kick. After the Beets were soft, I pureed about half of them so the Soup would be smooth and "taste more like itself," as Mom says, but still have the chunks of Beets and Onions that I really enjoy.

Soupe de betterave

3 Beets and their Greens
3 Yellow Onions
1-2 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 Bay Leaf
3 tablespoons Cider Vinegar (I used one with Honey in it)
4 cups Chicken Stock (you could also use Vegetable)
6 cups Water
Salt, Pepper
6 stalks Parsley
3 stalks Dill Leaf
1/2 container Creme Fraiche
1 small container Yogurt

Peel Beets and cut them into thin slices (the smaller the slices, the faster the Beets cook). Wash the Greens and chop them.

Peel two of the Onions and slice them finely.

Mince the third Onion.

In a dutch oven, melt the Butter, then add the minced Onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, moving the Onion pieces around with a wooden spoon, until the Onion takes on a caramel color. Add the Beets, the other 2 Onions and the Greens.

Add the Sugar, Bay Leaf and Vinegar.

Simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring all the while.

Add the Stock and Water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so there are just tiny bubbles. Salt and Pepper to taste and cook until beets are tender, around 1/2 hour depending on how finely sliced the beets are. When beets are tender, remove about 1/2 of the solids and puree them in a food processor. Stir the puree back into the Soup.

Combine Creme Fraiche and Yogurt in a bowl. Serve soup with a heaping tablespoon of Creme Fraiche-Yogurt. Sprinkle with Parsley and Dill, cut up.

and and and and and


richard said...

Question: are you really saying that you need a total of 10 cups of liquid? That seems a bit much, but maybe I just prefer a thicker soup.

richard said...

Update: excellent soup, though I used 4 cups broth and 2 cups water (rather than 6 and 4); only one onion; and extracurricularly, a potato and two carrots.

The vinegar really clinched the flavours. Thanks for this.

Lady Amalthea said...

Glad you enjoyed it!

Lady Amalthea said...


Blending the soup before serving really thickens it up.

richard said...

Oh, I did blend it (about 60% of the solids), but I do think it would have been a very different soup with 4 additional cups of liquid -- that's almost half again.

Lady Amalthea said...

Well, to each his own.