Spiced beetroot and tomato soup

I had two more large beetroot left, so I made this soup, adapted slightly from Madhur Jaffrey’s Eastern Vegetarian Cooking, which I bought in 1983s. The link is to a subsequent edition.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large beetroot, peeled and diced
  • 500ml water
  • butter
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, or a 2cm stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp ground black pepper
  • Sour cream or double cream

METHOD:

  • Cook the chopped beetroot in the water. Simmer for about an hour, to make sure the beetroot is really soft.
  • Drain the beetroot, and make the liquid up to 450ml if necessary.
  • Add the beetroot back to the liquor, along with the tin of chopped tomatoes and use the soup wand to liquidise
  • In a saucepan, fry the spices in butter, and then add the beetroot and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Strain the soup through a coarse sieve to remove the whole spices, and then add the cream, and reheat.

Beetroot gratin

We had this last night and tonight, totally delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 50g butter
  • 50g mature cheddar, grated
  • 50g parmesan, grated
  • 6 beetroot, boiled and skinned, cut into 1cm cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 anchovies, or some worcestershire sauce
  • 250ml to 300ml double cream
  • breadcrumbs

METHOD:

  • Butter a gratin dish, and spread 1/3 of the cheese across the bottom.
  • Add a layer of half the beetroot, and then add the anchovies, or a good sprinkling of worcestershire sauce.
  • Next layer, another 1/3 of the cheese.
  • Next layer, the rest of the beetroot.
  • Last layer, add the rest of the cheese, and press the ingredients into the dish. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Pour the cream over the beetroot, and then add a sprinkling of breadcrumbs on top.
  • Bake in a hot oven 200C for 15 minutes or more, until bubbling and golden on the top.

I served this with bread as a light supper one evening, and then as a side-dish the next night.

Baked beetroot

There are some great fresh beetroot in the shops at the moment, UK-grown. I’ve been trying out a few recipes, and found this one in ‘Full Throttle’ by the two Fat Ladies.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Raw beetroot
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh mint
  • Sour cream

METHOD:

  • Put the beetroot into a roasting tin, coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, much as you would do for baked potatoes.
  • Bake in a hot oven 200C for at least one hour, until they are tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Split open and serve with sour cream and chopped mint.

Beetroot and Coconut Curry

 

Malcolm got this recipe from somewhere, no idea where. We had it tonight, cooked with beetroot from Maria’s vegetable box scheme.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 400g raw beetroot
  • 2 tbsp organic sunflower oil
  • 1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 hot green chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 can organic chopped tomatoes
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime

METHOD:

  • Peel the beetroot, and cut into matchsticks (a mandolin is useful for this. Or just cut it up as small as you can)
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the mustard seeds. As soon as they start jumping, add the onion, garlic and chillies. Fry on medium heat until the onion is tender.
  • Add the spices and the beetroot, fry for a further two minutes and then add the tomatoes, 250ml water and a pinch of salt.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beetroot is tender.
  • Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for another couple of minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  • Stir in the lime juice, adjust the seasoning, and serve with rice.

Borscht

Very good version of a classic soup.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 50g butter
  • 350g beetroot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 litres of beef or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • black pepper
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fennel or dill leaves

METHOD:

  • Melt the butter and gently cook the beetroot and carrot.
  • Add the onion, tomatoes, vinegar and sugar, and a small amount of stock, and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage and cook for a further 20 minutes. Keep an eye, and add extra stock if required.
  • Add all of the rest of the stock, as well as salt to season, the garlic, potatoes and pepper and cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked.
  • About 10 minutes before the end, add the grated beetroot.
  • Leave to stand after cooking for around 10 minutes.
  • Serve in warm soup bowls, each portion topped with a good dollop of soured cream and garnished with chopped herbs. A side serving of bread and cheese goes well.