Interesting that after trying a muffin recipe off a blog titled, Modern Beet, I end up with 10 beets in my CSA share. I can’t recall the last time I ate a beet (perhaps at a salad bar, in the canned form). Just the name of the food is cause for alarm. Beets. Just seems counter-intuitive to subject myself to them. To top it off, they looked unappetizing when I picked them up at Greensgrow yesterday, lacking the brilliant and distinctive purple-red color. But I picked up my share and walked on… time to beat the beets stigma I’ve held for years.
Turns out beets are quite versatile. Roast, boil, sauté, microwave; serve in salads, roast with vegetables, fix in pasta dishes and even garnish on top of chicken or beef. It is a very nutritious root vegetable that is low in calories and a great source of folate, vitamin C and potassium. The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color is betacyanin, a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
In honor of the freezing weather and my obvious penchant for making soups, I decided on a Roasted Beet Soup from Epicurious. A word to fellow beet newbies: It wasn’t until I roasted the beets and peeled the skin that the beet revealed its true colors – the purple-red hue finally glared brightly back at me. As I peeled each golf-ball sized vegetable, the juices ran all over my hands and the cutting board. While it was very easy to clean off, I couldn’t help but feel like I was involved in a carnage of some sort. Here’s hoping your imagination is a little less vivid…
Roasted Beet Soup
Adapted from Epicurious
* CSA Share
- ½ pound red beets * (about 5 small or 3 medium)
- 1 ½ teaspoons butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped *
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced * (I used ½ yellow onion and ½ red onion to use up leftovers)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cups water
- 1 dash of dried thyme
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1/4 cup milk *
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets. Cut beets into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Melt butter with oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and onion and cook until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 13 minutes.
- Stir in ginger, allspice, turmeric, pepper, and 1/2-inch beet pieces. Cook until vegetables begin to stick to bottom of pot, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and water, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and cool soup slightly. Working in batches, purée soup in blender with milk, or use hand blender.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper (although I found it did not need any seasoning).
I topped with shredded Muenster cheese* for a bit of calcium. I also added a few homemade croutons created with the toasted Rosemary rounds* from my previous CSA pick-up (very easy to unfreeze bread). I still have some beets left and they should stay for about 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. I’m thinking about trying one of these next: