This one was a surprise to me! Sweet, earthy goodness from the king of vegetables… The mighty, hearty, just plain delicious beetroot. Can you tell I’m a fan? (Click here for ‘A Beetroot Affair to Remember’) I had a bag of beetroot in my latest veg box delivery, and in that bag was a golden beetroot almost the size of a swede… I pondered what to do? A slaw? Hide it in the kid’s mash? Crisps? Roast? Actually any of those things would have been lovely, but today I panicked and decided it had to be eaten, and for lack of inspiration at 5pm today between beaver pick up (that’s scouts for 7 year olds for the sake of my transatlantic friends) and the dog escaping down the street (again) I souped it. Plain and simple. And actually I was more than pleasantly surprised with the result. It’s smooth, sweet, a little earth and so so moreish… Tim of course has had to make a side of eggy-bread to go with his (vegetables not being quite enough)… The soup is great and the addition of the maple walnuts and feta makes it indulgent… And it’s exceptionally nutritious…
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 red onions
2 leafy celery stalks
1 large golden beetroot (size of a sweet, failing that lots of smaller ones)
1 medium red beetroot
2 large handfuls of Kale (about 4 whole leaves)
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tsp vegetable bouillon
1 stalk fresh rosemary
1 small bunch fresh thyme
salt & pepper
1 handful walnuts per person
1 tbsp maple syrup
feta cheese to top
1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan on the hob.
2. Dice the onions, carrot & celery and soften in the pan for around 10 minutes.
3. Cut the beetroot in to approx 1″ cubes and add to the pan.
4. Chop the kale in to slices (if the leaves are whole) and add to the pan.
5. Cover with water and add a tsp of bouillon, a pinch of salt & pepper and the sprigs of rosemary, thyme and the lentils.
6. Cover and simmer for around 25 minutes until the beetroot is soft and the lentils have disintegrated.
7. Meanwhile heat the oven to 200C and place a handful of walnuts (per person) on a baking tray. Drizzle with a tablespoon of maple syrup and roast for around 7-10 minutes (my fan oven will do them in 7, takes longer in a conventional oven though)
8. Blend the soup to a smooth consistency and serve in a bowl with the walnuts and chopped feta on top…Enjoy!