In my daughter’s school the parents association often prepare something for the teachers, as a way to thank them for taking good care of our children. It’s a nice gesture, and whenever we can we try to participate. Last week they decided to prepare a “soup lunch”, where many parents would bring soups and we offered to prepare something. Since I imagined most people would bring “traditional” soups, I decided to try something different, and when I saw some beets on the supermarket, it looked like a good idea.
Having never prepared a beet soup before, I didn’t know whether the beets would stand on its own or it needed something to thicken the soup. Potatoes were an option, but since I was trying something new, I decided to go with parsnips, which I had tried in a soup a while back and gave a nice aroma to the dish.
It turned out to be quite good (and, indeed, very different). The bright burgundy color was really enticing, and offered a good contrast for the decoration. The only problem I had was that I think I used too much salt, to balance the sweetness of the beets; next time I’ll just less salt and embrace the “beetness” of the soup instead.
Ingredients (for 8-10 people):
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 5 beets (~2” diameter), peeled, chopped in small pieces
- 2 parsnips, peeled, chopped in small pieces
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt & pepper
- parsley and cream for decoration
In a large pan, heat the oil, then add the onions and season them with salt and pepper. Fry them until they’re golden brown. Add the beets then add the stock and water, and bring it to a boil. The beets take a long time to cook, so chopping them in small pieces helps making the process faster.
When the beets look almost fork-tender, add the parsnips and cook for another 10-20 minutes, until the parsnips themselves are fork-tender. Using a blender (or an immersion blender, which I did), purée the soup until it’s clear of any lumps. Adjust the salt (careful on this step), and serve with a sprig of parsley and a touch of cream. The soup can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator, just reheat it (adding some water if necessary) prior to serving.