When my boys are at school, I hardly ever bother cooking anything for my lunch. A sandwich, a simple salad or any reheated leftovers suit me. But yesterday I was rummaging through the fridge and discovered that I still had some beets in the fridge which I got at the market a couple of weeks ago.
Browsing the latest Sainsbury's magazine, I spotted Beetroot and apple soup with soured cream. Well, I am a Russian girl at heart, even if I have lived in the UK for almost 20 years. I enjoy recipes with beetroot, and this recipe sounded like a lighter version of borscht. Of course, the authentic borscht is never blitzed, but the beet and soured cream combination are very much Eastern European.
I have adapted the recipe, and made it more flavourful, as it was a bit bland.
Beetroot and apple soup with soured cream
3 medium beets, peeled and chopped
2tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 big apple (I used a Gala apple), peeled, cored and sliced
about 500+ ml vegetable stock
100ml apple juice
1tbsp tomato paste
fresh fennel and wild garlic leaves (optional) or spring onions
Peel the beets and chop into cubes. Heat the olive oil and add the cubed beets. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can skip this step, but it gives the depth of flavour. When beetroot is cooked in soup from raw, it has a rather earthy flavour, frying makes it sweeter and more concentrated in flavour.
Chop the onion and garlic, add to the beets, and cook for another 5+ minutes. Add the cubed apple, and cook for another 5 minutes until the apple is slightly softened.
Put all the ingredients in a medium pan, pour the stock and apple juice over. Add the paprika and tomato paste. Cook on low simmering for about 25 minutes. Season to taste. Using a hand blender, blitz the soup.
Serve hot or cold with some soured cream and fresh herbs, like fennel, wild garlic or spring onions.
Yesterday I had it hot, today for lunch I had a chilled version. Both are light and lovely. It is also quite sweet, so I really fancied adding some chopped pickles. I must try it again with pickles.