> Skip to content

Recipe  •  26 September 2023

 

Beetroot soup & three toppings

A hearty family favourite.

This is one of those recipes my family just live off, a dish we return to again and again, at its heart deeply simple and uplifting. Velvety and voluptuous, this soup bubbles away like a cauldron of lava and is wonderfully nourishing. Seasoned with a little cider vinegar to brighten the earthy richness, it’s a dinner party classic I often serve as a starter because of its striking colour, but it’s equally at home eaten on your knees. I’ve given you three toppings that will bring this soup to life, so you can vary how you eat it depending on what you have to hand.

Makes: 8 proper bowlfuls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5kg beetroots
  • 100ml cider vinegar
  • 200ml crème fraîche or double cream

  • your choice of topping:
    • a few slices of smoked eel and a dollop of fiery horseradish sauce
    • crumbly goat’s cheese and dill
    • natural yoghurt and toasted cumin seeds

 

METHOD

  1. Start by giving the beets a good scrub in the sink to remove any grit. Don’t peel or trim the tops; you want them intact, to preserve the vivid colour. Place in a large pan and cover with water, then pour in the vinegar and season with a proper handful of salt. Bring to the boil, then set to a simmer with the lid on for about 1 hour, until completely tender. You should be able to easily pierce them to the core with a knife.

  2. Take the beets out and leave them to cool in a bowl, but keep all the cooking liquor. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins: they should come away easily with a squeeze from your thumb – I think it’s one of the most satisfying jobs in the kitchen, but wear a pair of Marigolds or your hands will be pink for days. Chop the beetroots into quarters and place in a high-speed blender, then top up with a little of the cooking water and blitz into a thick pourable soup. You might need to do this in two or three batches. Taste as you go, as you don’t want to overdo it with the vinegary water, though the vinegar is a key part of the seasoning and cuts through excessive earthiness. Add the crème fraîche while blitzing in the blender and it will lighten and aerate the soup into a lovely velvety texture. It should taste divine and be the most incredible colour, but make sure to taste and adjust the seasoning to get the balance right.

  3. Warm back up in a pan, and finish with your chosen toppings. This keeps in the fridge for up to a week, and you can freeze any leftovers for a rainy day.

Feature Title

The Farm Table
The first book from TV chef and farmer, Julius Roberts. Offering simple, rustic seasonal recipes and stories from his Dorset small-holding, The Farm Table will appeal to buyers of Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Dairies, The Naked Chef and Jamie at Home, and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage Cookbook
Read more

More features

See all recipes
Recipe
Pear & Walnut Upside-Down Cake

I love a good cake and this is just that. Juicy, moist and wonderfully light, but most importantly, not too sweet.

Recipe
Stewed plums, whipped yoghurt, mint & granola

Stewed plums in a tasty and decadent sweet dish.

Recipe
Raspberry, White Chocolate and Pecan Brioche Bake

Whip up this easy brioche bake for a crowd-pleasing brunch dish or prep in advance and pop in the freezer for a low effort weekend breakfast in the future.

Recipe
Creamy Sausage and Cannellini Bean One-Pot

Whether you prep this easy dish in advance or cook straight away, this warming one pot recipe is highly adaptable and can be made on the hob, in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.

Recipe
Feta and Spinach Filo Swirls

Batch prep these easy feta and spinach filo swirls ahead of time and freeze for an easy snack or light meal later.

Recipe
Spiced fish with coconut

Aromatic and packed with spices.

Recipe
Cheese and herb bread

A soft and fluffy flavourful loaf of bread.

Recipe
Beef Wellington

Mary Berry's take on a traditional and mouth-watering dish.

Recipe
Slow Cooker Honey and Hoisin Duck Wraps

Cooked on low for 8 hours, the tender duck will simply fall off the bone, ready to be wrapped in tortillas with spring onions, cucumber and hoisin sauce in this slow cooker take on the classic takeaway dish.

Recipe
Slow Cooker Butterbean Pesto and Chorizo Stew

Packed with butter beans and spicy chorizo this easy stew is topped with pine nuts, fresh basil and dollops of pesto.

Recipe
Slow cooker veggie Lancashire hot pot

A meat-free take on the classic dish, this hearty hot pot is packed with lentils, mushrooms and carrots. Swap the Worcestershire sauce for Henderson's Relish for a fully vegetarian version.

Looking for more recipes?

See all recipes