Beetroot soup with cumin and coriander
Take up the invitation to ‘eat more veg’ and transform favourites into healthy, tasty starters and snacks.
2kg whole red beetroot, topped and tailed
1 large red onion
1 head of celery
100ml olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
50ml red wine vinegar
2 litres vegetable stock
350ml creme fraiche, plus extra to garnish
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Small beetroot leaves, to garnish
Salt and pepper
Cut the the beetroot into cubes about 4–5cm. I find that if you keep the pieces chunky, the soup ends up creamier. Cut the red onion into similar sized pieces, then trim the celery and do the same with that.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the beetroot, onion, celery and garlic and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin seeds, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper, then cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften and catch on the base of the pan.
Add the vinegar and vodka, stirring to loosen any browned bits on the base, then allow all the liquid to evaporate before adding the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least one hour, or until the beetroot is tender when pierced with a knife.
Add the creme fraiche and coriander, then transfer to a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Check the seasoning and serve hot or cold in soup bowls, with an extra touch of creme fraiche spooned into the centre and topped with a small beetroot leaf.
This recipe first appeared in 'Eat More Veg' by Arthur Potts Dawson