beetroot, stainer of shirts, pickled pink nemesis of salads, how maligned you are these days...
I'm a sucker for hard-luck vegetables - sprouts, parsnips and the humble swede, are, in my eyes every bit as wonderful as butternut squash, or whatever is the flavour de jour. So here is a rather nice beetroot soup, which turns the rather ugly tuber into a thing of ruby red magnificence, a spicy and zippy little number that is almost as good as my sprout soup
This is a really light soup, and the coconut milk does wonders to counter-act the earthy flavour that puts a lot of people off. It would work well as a starter or put it in a flask to take on a picnic.
Beware the fact that your kitchen may get messy when preparing the beetroot. My hands were stained red for a few hours afterwards!
1 Small Onion
1tsp Cumin Seeds
800ml Vegetable stock
400ml Coconut Milk
For the paste
2 Red chilies
3 Cloves of Garlic
1tsp Wasabi Paste
1 Lime (Juice Only)
4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
1. Heat the oven to 180. Place the beetroot - washed but not peeled - in an oven dish, sprinkle with salt and oil then cover and place in the oven for 40 minutes, then set aside to cool. When they have cooled enough, peel and dice the beetroot
2. Next make the paste. In a food processor, blend the paste ingredients to as smooth a consistency as you can.
3. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the finely chopped onion with the cumin seeds for a few minutes, then add the paste and cook through for five minutes.
4. Add the stock and diced cooked beetroot and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle the soup into a blender and blend until smooth, then return to the pan, add the coconut milk and heat through before serving.
5. Garnish with Mint leaves in the dish. Enjoy!