Monday, February 17, 2014

Beet Soup

This Winter sure is trying to go out with a bang! Holy snowstorms!

We only have 4 weeks left according to our buddy Phil. And while I'm ready to give my Winter coat a break, I'm still enjoying all of the warm beverages, soups, and stews that taste so great in colder weather. I've been using my snowy days at home as the perfect excuse to let a pot of chili simmer all afternoon, and I've been collecting soup recipes from friends and family (that I will then repost here as if they were my own... Love you guys!).

The last week-or-so, I've also been on a beet kick.

It all started when I baked beet-based cupcakes for my 32nd birthday party (#32!). Then I used the leftover beet purée as the sauce for a spinach and goat cheese gluten free pizza.

Yes, that is bacon. No, goat cheese is not paleo.
Neither is GF pizza crust. Live your life!

Shortly thereafter my Ukrainian heritage kicked in and I started toying with the idea of a beet soup. I was sure I could make a creamy puréed soup, like my ever-popular Roasted Broccoli version. And I knew the beets would cook up well with typical soup-starters like onion and garlic. But I wanted to be sure it was slightly tangy to mimic the flavor profile of my pizza, without the added goat cheese. After a quick scan through what-passes-for-my-pantry I decided a splash of vinegar would do the trick (and beet salad is delicious, right? so it couldn't totally ruin the soup).

This recipe came together nicely and tasted even better than expected (which is really saying something. I have very high expectations for myself). It definitely tastes like beets, though. So if you're a beet-hater like my father, please skip along to the next post (sorry Dad!). If you're a beet-lover like me, then I definitely recommend it! How often do you get to eat pink food?! 

 Beet Soup

Pink Soup!


3 medium beets, peeled and diced*
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef stock
2 cups cauliflower florets
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper


Pour olive oil into a large pot and place over medium heat. Add diced onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook onion until it starts to brown. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions begin to caramelize (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add cauliflower florets and diced beets and toss together until the cauliflower turns pink. 

Add beef stock and bay leaf. Season with a pinch of salt and a few shakes of pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering until beets are tender. About 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly so that you don't scald yourself on the next step.

Use your immersion blender to purée the soup until creamy (if you don't have an immersion blender, carefully pour the soup into your standard blender and purée until smooth). Return the soup to medium heat. Add balsamic vinegar and re-season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir continuously until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat. Makes 6 servings.

*Pro Tip: Peel and dice your beets in the sink. Literally. I cleaned the sink and then put the cutting board in it to work. Otherwise, your kitchen will look like you massacred a herd of My Little Ponies.

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