Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Roasted Beet Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

I first tasted beet soup (Borscht)in a Russian restaurant in Chicago (2007). It was to die for. This recipe, though quite different and from a Jewish Cookbook*, was every bit as delicious. I highly recommend it and will be making this again.

5-6 lg beets, scrubbed
2 cloves fresh garlic
olive oil
1 cup apple cider
3 slices pumpernickel bread
2 cups chicken stock
18 walnut halves
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub each beet with 1 tsp olive oil, coating all sides. Wrap individually in aluminum foil and place onto a cookie sheet. Place into the oven and roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender.

Remove from oven and allow to stand until no longer hot to the touch. Using a paper towel, rub off the skins & discard. Cut the beets into quarters and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the roasted walnuts and croutons: Slice the pumpernickel bread into bite size diamond shapes. Place the bread and the walnuts into a med bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the ground sage. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place in the hot oven for 5 min, until slightly toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.Toss to coat.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil into a large woup pot over medium-low heat. Add the red onion slices and cook. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 2 more min. Pour in the apple cider, stock, and water. Add the beets. Simmer for 5 min, until heated through.

Using an immersion blender puree the soup. This can also be done in batches in a blender or food processor. Season with salt.

*2-10-09 I misread the recipe and used 2 large red onions and the soup still tasted great. I didn't have sage on hand so I used poultry seasoning, which turned out tasting good. I don't think I would bother with the walnuts next time, but the pumpernickel bread croutons added a wonderful pizazz to the soup, although it would be delicious without them. Myke, Mom and I liked the soup a great deal. One caution: Don't completely puree the soup. The texture is much more pleasant with some chunks.

*Recipe from Kosher by Design Lightens Up by sSusie Fishbein

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