Red soup for a white day

I love snow but it’s not great being out in it with a one-year-old who doesn’t own any wellies and has only recently learnt to walk, so I stayed in… am staying in. The view is pretty good where I live though, so I don’t feel I’m missing out on too much. I spotted this cheeky little fella out of my window this morning.

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To warm us up I made a loaf of my old faithful spelt and seed bread and a vat of beetroot soup with dill cream. My recipe is loosely based on this one by Felicity Cloake, and I think it could use a little tweaking, but it’s still damn tasty and worth sharing, so here goes…

Beetroot soup with dill cream

200g celeriac, cubed
500g beetroot (4-5), cube 3/4 and grate the rest
1 carrot, cubed
1 leek, sliced into rounds
1 onion, finely chopped
Butter and oil for frying
1 litre stock (I used stock made from the pheasant we cooked last week)
2 bay leaves
2 allspice berries
2-3″ cinnamon bark (or 1″ cinnamon stick)
Bundle of parsley stalks
5-6 dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Dill cream, to serve
3 tbsp extra thick double cream (or sour cream)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Wedge of lemon (omit if using sour cream)

Heat the oil and butter in a casserole and fry the onion for five minutes until soft.

Add the cubed celery, carrot, leek and cubed beetroot (saving the grated beetroot for later) with the bay leaves, allspice berries and cinamon and cook down gently until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.

Add the heated stock and bring to a gentle simmer, add the herb bundle, the porcini, and a good grinding of black pepper. If you prefer you can soak the porcini first and chop them finely before adding to the soup with the soaking liquor.

Leave soup to simmer until the vegetables are cooked through and the flavours have been drawn into the stock, about 20 minutes.

Add the red wine vinegar and grated beetroot just before serving. Check seasoning.

To make the dill cream, simply stir the finely chopped dill into the cream along with a squeeze of lemon. I like to dollop it on top rather ungracefully but if you use a single cream you could make a pretty pattern with it instead.

Serve hot, with a good chunk of bread.

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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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10 comments on “Red soup for a white day

  1. January 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Sounds delicious! Will have to try this one when Brooker’s away, as she hates beetroot. Excellent photos x

    • January 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

      How can anyone hate beetroot? I’m so puzzled by this, and Brook isn’t the only one, Shewolffe.com commented that my beetroot risotto might just turn her. Perhaps I should do a tempting beetroot recipe every week to bring the haters round? Any ideas?

      • January 21, 2013 at 11:52 am

        I know! You think you know someone… Well, she hates beetroot, she loves smoothies. Can you put beetroot in a blender for a blood curdling drink?!

        • January 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

          Of course you can San!

        • January 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

          Beetroot and blood orange, how about it?

          • January 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm

            Hallowe’en couldn’t come soon enough

  2. January 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    That looks delicious! Definitely adding it only my To Cook list (it will be one of the few things not covered in cheese 🙂 )

  3. January 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Chloe, the cheeky little fella out of your window was a Fieldfare. They’re causing quite a stir in people’s gardens at the moment (in less snowy times, they’re found in a more arable situation).

    • January 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Amazing, thank you Phil, I was saying you guys should come over for some grub soon, we can put the table next to the window so Mr Fieldfare can join in with the conversation.

  4. January 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    That sounds very nice…Maybe Mr Fieldfare could bring Mr Redwing…

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