Friday, February 24, 2012

Adventures in my kitchen - tangy, lemony beet soup

One of the biggest changes we have made after our move to Norway has been in the kitchen. Namely, I have started using the kitchen more often. In Houston, the kitchen was Mr. Sunshine's territory - I preferred to stay away - entering only when I really had to, and reluctantly I must add. Now, because Mr. Sunshine works late, and eating out is prohibitively expensive, I have been cooking more often. And I must admit, I am enjoying it. Who knew! And the good thing is: I am not half bad at it. I am not too adventurous in the kitchen though - I try to stick to what I know I can't easily mess up - like soups and pasta. In fact, soup has become one of my go to dishes for dinner. There is something about rainy evenings that call for the comfort of a hot bowl of soup. And we have a lot of rainy evenings here in Stavanger.

Last night, I had to use up some left over beets that I had originally bought to make beet ravioli for our valentine's day dinner. Inspired by this, I decided to make some lemony beet and potato soup. It was by far the easiest, tastiest, yummiest soup I have made - creamy, sweet and tangy, with just a little bit of heat from red pepper flakes. Also healthy. Here is a badly taken picture (I really do need to start taking better pictures of food).

And here is the recipe:

Tangy beetroot, potato and carrot soup 
(Makes about 4 servings)
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • One small onion, chopped (I used red, but you could use white onions as well) 
  • Two cloves of garlic, smashed 
  • 2 to 3 medium sized beets, peeled and cut into small cubes (the smaller they are, the faster they will cook)
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream (you can substitute it with yogurt)
  • I tablespoon sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat a heavy bottomed pan - I use a dutch oven - and add oilve oil. Let heat, and then add chopped onions, and garlic. You don't have to worry about finely chopping the onions because you will be blending the soup at the end. Just make sure they are chopped evenly so that they can cook evenly.

When the onions turn translucent, add the vegetables and fry them for a minute.

Add broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover and let the vegetables simmer till they have cooked thoroughly. About 10 - 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, and let cool.

Ladle the cooled broth and veggies in to a blender. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and blend.

Pour the soup back in to the pan, and put the pan on low heat. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and mix. Finally add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil. Add water if the soup is too thick.

Ladle the soup in bowls.

In a separate bowl, mix a tablespoon of the the soup with a tablespoon of sour cream. Spoon this over the soup in the bowls and gently swirl.

Serve and enjoy!

Credits: Pugly Pixel for the honeycomb pattern and the tape. 


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