Well, hello there! I hope you all have had an amazing weekend; I on the other hand spent my weekend working on my grandmother’s classic beetroot soup. My grandmother has always been fond of beetroots; one could say she loved her beets to bits. She would often tell my brother and me,
“Eat your beetroots well, they are rich in iron and good for your blood.”
And this wasn’t the only reason why she loved beetroots so much, there was a story behind all of this. It all began when my grandmother fled for her life, during the Sino-Tibetan war and came as a refugee to India. She and a few others, who had fled, had to go through a lot of hardships in their journey from Tibet to India. Not only were they short on food, but the weather too added up to their problems. All this time they were only surviving on air dried beef and stale bread.
As, the days passed the supplies ran out rapidly and the only food they could find in the wilderness were beetroots and onions. While the men would fetch wood for the fire, the women would start cutting and clipping the vegetables. Then they would get the fire going and prepare the beetroot soup. The soup not only helped keep them warm, but also gave them strenght and the necessary nutrients to keep them going.
Little did I know, that this was the reason behind her growing fondness towards beetroot. It not only reminded her of the hardship she had to go through, but also because she survived despite all odds. And that my friends is how my grandmother’s classic beetroot soup came into existence. She even impressed my grandfather with her soup and that’s how he found his bride.
This recipe is extremely close to my heart, as my grandmother used to make it for me when I used to catch flu. It made me feel so loved and warm, and also because it’s a family favorite. So, I took up the challenge of making my rendition of my grandmothers soup, I would normally stick to her recipe, but instead I wanted to try out something new. I added another ingredient to my grandmother’s amazing soup – sweet potato. Yayiee!
So readers, below is a recipe of my beetroot soup and pictures to. The soup looks rustic and very appealing to the eye because of its reddish color. It is extremely easy to prepare; I know this for sure as I’ve made it an ample number of times and it has turned out exactly the same! Only this time there were sweet potatoes too. However, the soup is naturally on the sweeter side, but not too sweet, with little hints of sourness and has very subtle and delicate flavors that tingle your taste buds, with every bite you take. You could either have it as a soup or a whole meal, because of the vegetables. Garlic bread would compliment this dish so well. Also, it is just perfect to have during this season as it has a lot of nutritional benefits.
So, what are you waiting for? Buckle up and get your kitchen gears ready to make this sensational soup.
Recipe: Serves 4
You would require –
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 medium sized onion
- 3 small tomatoes
- 500g beetroot
- 250g sweet potato
- Fresh dill and chives for garnish
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Now that we have all the ingredients, lets get the mise-en-place ready. We will first begin with the onions. Clean up the onions, cut of the ends of the onion and chop them into small dices.
Next, wash up the tomatoes and cut them into chunks, make sure they aren’t too big.
The next step is to clean up the beetroot, make sure to rinse them thoroughly in order to avoid any dust/sand particles; you wouldn’t want your soup to taste muddy. Once you’re done with cleaning peel them and cut them into either chunks or medium dices.
Next up, we have the sweet potatoes. Wash, peel and cut them into either large dices or chunks.
At the end, take 2 cloves of garlic, peel and have them finely chopped. Wash up the chives and have it fine chopped too. Wash up the sprigs of dill and keep aside.
Step 1 – Add olive oil in a stock pot and heat it on medium-low heat.
Step 2 – Once the oil is heated add the onion and garlic and sauté until they turn translucent.
Step 3 – Add the beetroot and sweet potato, sauté a little, do not brown them.
Step 4 – Next add the tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes turn a little tender.
Step 5 – Add the vegetable stock. I like to make my own stock usually and luckily I had the opportunity to make one at the college for my lab, so I saved it up for the soup. Do not worry, making your own stock isn’t compulsory, you can purchase one at your nearest supermarket.
Step 6 – Once you have added the stock allow it to simmer for 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Step 7 – Add salt and pepper as per your liking. Add the chives and dill towards the end, stir for awhile and take it off. To know if the vegetables have become soft, you should be able to cut the beetroot into two with a spoon.
Step 8 – Garnish with chives and dill and serve.
Voila! Your soup is ready.
There weren’t many challenges in making this soup, as you can see, it is a very simple soup. Plus, the ingredients are readily available at any supermarket you go to, it is cost effective and not much of a hassle to make, also less time consuming. The only downside being it was under seasoned for my roommate. I asked my roommate to try my dish and this is what she had to say,
” Michelle, the soup is so light on the palate and the vegetables are so tender, I wish you added more seasoning to it, then it would have been perfectly balanced.”
Well, I guess seasoning differs from person to person, nonetheless I am always up for constructive criticisms.
Maybe next time I’ll try making a beetroot borscht with sour cream or feta cheese; I wonder how that would turn out. That is all for now. See you next time folks. For more easy-peasy recipes and soul food keep following. Ciao.