Beetroot. You can just tell that anything that brightly coloured has GOT to be packed full of goodness, vitamins and E numbers. No wait, I'm pretty sure that one of those isn't true*
*Actually, Betanin, or E162 is an red glycosidic food dye extracted from beetroot. So there. Don't say you don't learn anything from this blog. Other beetroot facts are* :
Beetroot is an excellent source of folate and a good source of manganese, and contains betaines which may function to reduce the concentration of homocysteine, a homolog of the naturally occurring amino acid cysteine. High circulating levels of homocysteine may be harmful to blood vessels and thus contribute to the development of heart disease, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. This hypothesis is controversial as it has not yet been established whether homocysteine itself is harmful or is just an indicator of increased risk for heart disease.Last year, I abandoned 2 blog posts as, after making the soups, I looked back through the blog and realised that I'd already written the same or very similar soups before. I really should plan my posts better. Regular readers (you know who you are! Hello Mum!) will probably know that I've done at least 3 beetroot soups before, but I thought, why the heck not do another one. This one is slighly different, and who has the time to wade through old blog posts anyway. This is 2015 dammit, we're all in a hurry, we want our soups right now...
The red colour compound betanin is not broken down in the body, and in higher concentrations may temporarily cause urine and stool to assume a reddish colour; in the case of urine this is called beeturia. This effect may cause distress and concern due to the visual similarity to hematuria (blood in the urine) or blood in the stool, but is completely harmless and will subside once the food is out of the system.
Although this soup *will* take a bit of time, as you need to roast the beetroot first to release all those sugars and other goodies that make the little purple blighters taste even better, and make that addition of lemon juice a nice counterpoint. I also used hard goats cheese, as it melts and goes all gooey when you put it in the bowl, covered in soup. Which is perfect at this time of year, when it's cold and you want tasty comforting foods.
*Isn't Wikipedia amazing...
2 Stalks Celery
6 Cloves Garlic
900ml Vegetable Stock
100g Hard Goats Cheese
1. Heat the oven to 180ºc. Peel the beetroot with a potato peeler. Wrap them up in some kitchen foil, with some salt and a splash of olive oil. Then place in the oven, leaving them to roast for 45 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
2. In your soup pan, heat the butter. Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery then fry them for a few minutes until everything starts to soften.
3. Cut the roasted beetroot up into smaller pieces, then add to the pan, along with the stock, thyme and lemon juice. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
4. Blend the soup until smooth and then reheat. Adhust seasoning to taste then serve. Garnish with some cubed bits of hard goats cheese. Enjoy!