For a root vegetable based soup, this is surprisingly light. This soup is the brainchild of Nigella Lawson. I have made it so often that I’ve adjusted her recipe to suit my tastebuds. It has little of the ‘earthiness’ that has been used to describe beetroot – a taste that has discouraged some from appreciating this under rated vegetable. Serve this soup very cold! Perfect for hot weather! Serve with a side of vegetable chips. Chips are a treat to begin with and here, it also provides a textural complement to the silky soup. Beetroot chips are nice but even better are parsnip or potato chips. 

Dairy And Gluten Free Beetroot Soup

Prep: 10 minutes 
Cook: ~1 hour if roasting beetroot or buy ready roasted + 5 minutes
Inactive:
Level: Easy
Makes: ~3 cups
Oven Temperature: 400F (200C)
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? Up to 3 days ahead

Ingredients

This recipe serves as a guide. Adjust the amount of seasonings to get the balance of savoury, salty, sweet and tart to suit your taste.

1 medium size ~(10.6 oz)(300g) beetroot* OR buy ready-roasted beetroot
1 teaspoon chicken stock granules + 1 cup boiling water OR 1 cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
* Consider roasting more than 1 beetroot as it is rather a waste of energy to roast a single beetroot in the oven. Suggested recipes under ‘Tips’.


Method

Roast beetroot
1. 4 hours before your are ready to make the soup (or up to 3 days before), heat up the oven to 400F (200C) oven rack adjusted to middle position. Wrap the beetroot in aluminium foil. It should look like a UFO.  Hot air circulates within the package and helps speed up cooking. That is what I am told anyway.


2. Bake 1 hour. Beetroot is cooked when you can easily insert a skewer through it.
3. Using oven gloves (as it will be steaming hot), remove foil and cool.
4. Peel off the skin while it is still warm as it will be easier.

Blend all the ingredients
1. Chicken stock should be at room temperature.
2. Use an immersion/standing blender and puree everything.
3. Adjust seasonings to suit your taste. Want it more tart? Add more capers. Do remember they are also salty. Does it taste too concentrated or thick? Thin it out with water/chicken stock. Honey, capers, chicken stock vary widely in sweetness, taste and saltiness, so adjust accordingly. It will come out delicious.
4. This soup is best served cold.  Sometimes, after ladling soups into bowls/cups, I add a few capers on top, not as a garnish, but because I like the little bites of salty tartness.

Tips

If you are roasting the beetroot, it makes sense to roast more than one beetroot
Think of the energy consumption at 400F (200C) for one hour! I suggest roasting at least 3 or 4, individually wrapped in foil. Keep the rest in the freezer to use in salads or sandwiches.

Here are 3 of my recipes where I use the beetroot

(1) Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches With A Sliver Of Beetroot
There is a thin slice of beetroot within each sandwich. I roast my own beef and they are meltingly tender with an enticing round pink centre.

My ideal roast beef tea sandwich. Beefy tasting,tender and moist.

(2) Try my Purple Salad
I doubt you would have had one similar… figs, watermelon, dragon fruit, goat cheese and again, my ’20-minute Sweet Pickled Onions’.


(3) Beetroot Salad With 20-minute Sweet Pickled Onions
It is the sweet pickled onions that makes this salad different. Goes great with crusty bread as it soaks up all the lovely dressing.

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