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Smoky beetroot soup

By March 01, 2016 , , ,

There's a lot more to beetroot than the ubiquitous pickled version that many of us grew up with. This soup works well either chilled or hot and sometimes I like to serve it in small portions in an espresso cup as an amuse at dinner parties with some vodka in it! 

4 medium sized beetroot peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek chopped
2 sticks celery roughly chopped
1 large potato thinly sliced
1.5l beef or veg stock
2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika (if not smoking the beetroot on the BBQ)
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 bay leaf
2 sage leaves
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of half a lemon

For the BBQ enthusiasts amongst you. 
You could lessen the amount of smoked paprika in the ingredients and hot smoke the beetroot with oak chips at 100c (indirect heat) for 40 mins.

Sauté the carrot, celery and leek on a medium heat until soft
Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
Next add the smoked paprika and tomato purée and cook out for 5 minutes
Add the beetroot, bay leaf, sage leaves and potato and pour in the stock
Bring the soup to the boil and then simmer on a medium heat for 30 minutes
Allow the mixture to cool a little before whizzing in a blender 
If you want an extra smooth textured soup you can pass it through a sieve
Return to the pan and season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper

I like to serve this with a dollop of creme fraiche mixed with grated fresh horseradish.

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