Russell Edgington was (or is? did Bill and Eric finally vanquish him?) one of my favorite characters in True Blood. Ruthless, power-hungry, and just straight-up creepy, he made for much more entertaining watching than waffling Bill or helpless Sookie.
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In true Russell fashion, the Beautifully Broken Bisque in the True Blood cookbook (attributed to the vampire king) is gruesomely reminiscent of deeply red coagulating blood, perfect for a cool Halloween evening. But even if you're not looking for a blood-stained dinner, the bisque's root vegetable base is seasonally appropriate. Pureed beets make up the bulk of the soup (adding color and ever-so-chunky texture), but are balanced with a modest amount of carrots, onion, and lemon juice. Russell serves the soup garnished with English rose petals in honor of his lost love, Talbot, but I like a generous dollop of sour cream.
Why I picked this recipe: This soup legit looks like blood. And beets are a panacea for all of that sugar I'm gonna eat on Halloween, right?
What worked: Just like the Bloody Mary, this soup was a snap to throw together, and the final outcome was a perfect balance between the earthiness of the root vegetables and the bright lemon juice.
What didn't: Nothing. This here is a killer vegetable bisque. (And yes, you can call a pureed veggie soup a "bisque," in case you're wondering.)
Suggested tweaks: If you're not going for the bloody look, you could certainly mix and match root vegetables here: turnips, parsnips, and potatoes would all work. Just swap out some of the beets for your root of choice (keeping the total amount close to 4 cups).