It's been only within the last year or so that I've acquired a taste for beets. I used to hate the earthy flavor and slightly gritty texture, which reminded me of eating dirt. But my girlfriend loves them, and after many dinners out with beet salads and beet dishes as an appetizer, I've come to savor them in all their variations. So when I found this straightforward Beet Soup with Feta, I knew I wanted to highlight it as one of the Cook the Book recipes this week. The book it's adapted from, The River Cottage Cookbook, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, gives instructions for serving it hot but also mentions that it's good chilled as well, especially if you grate some raw beet on top as a garnish.
Read more: In Season: Beets, and What to Do with Them
- Yield:4 to 6
- 3 to 4 medium beets (1 to 1 1/4 pounds total)
- 1 tablespoon oilve or sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups good-quality, strong stock (beef is ideal, but chicken or vegetable will work)
- 1/2 recipe Roast Tomato Sauce
- 3/4 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Greek feta cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the beets; grate them coarsely (or chop into small dice). Heat the oil in a large pan; sauté the onion a few minutes, until soft. Add the beets and the stock; bring to a boil.
Season lightly with salt and pepper; gently simmer 7 to 10 minutes, until beets are tender. Stir in the tomato sauce, transfer to a blender, and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if need be.
Reheat soup until thoroughly hot but not boiling. Divide among warm bowls; sprinkle the feta over. Serve with crusty bread.