Orange and Beet Soup

Orange and Beet Soup

I don't often cook with beets, which is an oversight I hope to correct, especially considering beets are packed full of nutrition. Both the leaves and root can be eaten. The roots are an excellent source of vitamin C, while the leaves are rich in vitamin A. Beets are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, calcium and contain anti-oxidant properties. Beets are celebrated for their medicinal properties and widely believed to be an excellent choice for purifying the blood and liver. If the leaves are green and healthy, take care to save them, even if the dish you are making only calls for the root. They make an excellent salad green.

I've adapted this recipe from Small Bites, an unusual little cookbook I found at the library recently. It's not the most vegetarian friendly cookbook, but it does contain some tasty and sophisticated recipes that I plan to make in the near future as I am intrigued by the unique blend of flavors presented throughout. If this beet soup is any indication of the quality of recipes, I'm in for a treat! The book also includes some lovely photographs of each dish.

Note: if you are not using vegetable stock, increase the amount of salt and add a teaspoon or two of celery seed.

Orange and Beet SoupOrange and Beet Soup
Recipe by
Adapted from Small Bites
Published on September 7, 2007

Simple, colorful and nourishing winter beet soup with the fresh sweet tang of orange

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  • 1 lb (1/2 kg) small beets with greens
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • zest from 1/2 orange
  • juice from 1 orange
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons plain whole-fat yogurt
  • small handful of fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plain whole-fat yogurt for serving
  • Trim the beets and reserve a handful of the beet greens. Scrub the beets and transfer to a saucepan. Cover with water and boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the beets are soft and can be easily pierced with a fork. Cool, remove the skins, and roughly chop the cooked beets. Set aside.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the beets, balsamic vinegar, orange zest and juice, and stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Chop the reserved beet greens and add to the pan. Remove from heat and purée about 3/4 of the soup using an immersion blender or in a countertop blender or food processor. Return to the stove and heat for a few minutes.

  • Stir in the yogurt and half of the chives and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot in bowls, adding a dollop of yogurt to each bowl and a sprinkle of the remaining chives.

  • As an alternative to adding a dollop of yogurt at the end, the original recipe suggests combining the cup of yogurt with half of the chives and freezing the mixture in an ice-cube tray. Instead of adding a dollop of yogurt to each bowl, simply drop in a frozen iced yogurt cube.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Orange and Beet Soup


Padma said...

Incredibly colorful soup, its sure very healthy for the body and treat for your eyes

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

What an absolutely gorgeous colour that soup is, you just know it is going to be really good for you!

Anonymous said...

That looks delicous. I love beets and I love oranges, I'm trying to convince my partner that we should have this soon!

Anna said...

Great photo in this entry - I love the contrast between the crisp white bowl and the vibrant pink of the soup.