Sunday, March 21, 2010

Caraway Beet Soup by Barbara

Caraway Beet Soup

When Tom is away, I can make whatever I want.  He doesn't like beets, but I do.  It must be my western Pennsylvania blood. 

Being on my own, I made a beet soup from the calendar by Edible Finger Lakes which had the Beef Short Ribs with Balsamic recipe.

Why don't people like beets?? To me, they are just as good as carrots, for example.

I will probably be like Mrs. Shuttleworth, one of my mentors from my Westchester days, who was both my friend and my landlord.  And as she aged, she ate beets and cottage cheese almost daily.  But Cheetos might be on my list.  Or something else wicked.

Only make this soup if you like the flavor of caraway.  Caraway is dominant, in a good way.  It is a very good; however, when I make it again, I will figure out how to grind the seeds first so they don't make the texture of the soup seedy.

Savory Beet Borscht
adapted from Edible Finger Lakes

Serves 6
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped (leaves are good)
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 T. caraway seeds
1 T. fresh thyme (I used dry)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I grated it)
4 large beets, roasted, peeled and chopped
6 cups beef or vegetable stock
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
3 T. chopped fresh dill (optional)

Pop your washed beets with tops cut off into a 400 degree oven to roast for 1/2 hour.   Let them cool, then peel off the skin and chop.  I don't even use oil when roasted.  This is what they look like when they come out.  The skins will peel off easily, but the juice will stain your hands red.  So, beware.

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook onions until translucent.  While the onions sweat, prepare the carrots, celery and cabbage.  If you need extra time to chop, turn down the onions to low so they don't brown or burn.

Then add them to the pot along with the thyme and caraway and cook for 10 minutes. 

Add the garlic and beets and cook for another minute before adding the stock, tomato paste and vinegar. 

Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Let cook for 20 minutes for the flavors to develop. Turn off the heat.

Puree with a hand blender. 

Add honey, and salt and pepper, and stir in the creme fraiche.

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