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Shocking Roasted Red Beet Soup

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Roasted Red Beet Soup

Believe it or not, but I really like red beets. Not only their taste, but also their amazing color, which some people find terrifying instead.
OK, I have to admit that if you want to win over the man of your dreams by inviting him for dinner, I wouldn't recommend feeding him the above soup (he might run away mad with fear), but on the other hand I really think that red beet is the most misunderstood vegetable. When it doesn't end up trapped in one of those tragic sealed packages, the best a beet can hope for is to be boiled, with the result that the flavor slips away, getting irreperably lost in the water. And all that's left behind is a slightly bitter aftertaste, that you'd think you're eating the soil in which beet has been grown. I admit this may not be the best thing in the world.
When roasted, instead, beet becomes a well respected side dish, slightly sweet and much tastier. And even the soup is better off.

Roasted Red Beet Soup
for 3-4 people

red beets, medium size 3
onion, medium size 1
garlic 2 cloves
olive oil, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, ginger, lemon, vegetable stock to taste
watrecress and sour cream to serve

Clean the beets, cut off the leaves and pair the ends. Wrap them in a piece of foil, put them in a baking pan with a 1/2 inch of water and bake at 400 for about 45 minutes or until tender.
Let them cool off a bit, then peel and cut in pieces. Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and saute garlic cloves, minced onion and few thyme sprigs, until onion is translucent.
Add the beets, a small piece of grated ginger, grated peel of half a lemon, salt and pepper. Cover with vegetable stock and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup until smooth. If it's too thcik, add a little more stock. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice, stir and serve, garnishing each dish with sour cream and few watercress leaves.
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