I had this soup for the first time last year, and when I made it in the week for dinner I remembered why I loved it so much. This soup is packed with veggie goodness and it was, apparently, the staple meal of Russians for hundreds of years. You can see why as it’s proper winter fuel – the beetroot is rich in iron and flavonoids, as are the onions.
This soup is best made the day before you want to eat it, as leaving it to stand really allows the flavour to develop.
What you need:
- 25g/1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 450g/1lb raw beetroot, peeled and chopped
- 1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 125g/4oz mushrooms, chopped
- 2 litres/8 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt & pepper to season
- soured cream to serve
What to do:
Get a big pan, melt the butter then add all the chopped vegetables and apple, and about 4 tablespoons of the stock. Cook gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cumin, thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice, stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the vegetables are all cooked. If you do it nice and slowly then it will take about an hour.
Remove the bay leaf then blend the soup in a food processor or blender. Don’t try and do this while the soup is still hot or it will explode everywhere (yes, I’ve learnt that from experience).
Reheat the soup and serve with a dollop of soured cream.