Hearty Beetroot Soup

Beetroot soup with plenty of other vegetables, chicken and canned beans as a source of protein, is on our winter menu nearly every week. It is a delicious soup, and makes a filling comfort dish for cold weather. The recipe is flexible and can be further adjusted to more restrictive dietary needs. Dairy, lentils and potato free version of beetroot soup was published in me ecookingblog, dedicated to grain, dairy and sugar free recipes. As we usually have this soup as a meal, I make it thick using different vegetables. Anything in the fridge can go into this soup, but my vegetables of choice to thicken the soup are eggplant or cauliflower. They provide desired texture without too much interference with major flavour of beetroot. I always use only organic beetroot for the soup, either home-grown or commercial one. The rest of the vegetables do not have to be organic.

Chicken and canned beans I use as a source of protein to make the soup a complete meal. It is typically either skinless drumsticks or chicken meatballs, supply of which I always have in my freezer. With meatballs it is easier to prepare portion of any size, either just for 2 people for lunch, or a big pot to be reheated for several meals. The taste of the soup gets even better with reheating.

Ingredients:

chicken and fresh cauliflower meatballs

  • 1 kg chicken thigh mince
  • 400 g cauliflower florets, blended into cauliflower “rice”
  • 2 small/medium onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1 table spoon butter
  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 1 table spoon cumin
  • 1 table spoon garlic chilli paste (can be replaced by fresh garlic and chilli, as well as any spice mix of your choice)
  • sea salt and coarse black pepper for seasoning

Chicken and cauliflower meatballs can be used to make any soup or sauce. They can be used fresh or frozen, directly from the freezer without defrosting. I freeze them on a lined with baking paper tray in the freezer and when frozen, pack them in zipper plastic bags and use when needed. Fresh cauliflower in the recipe can be replaced by eggplant, however cauliflower chicken meatballs will give you the soup with more flavour.

beetroot soup

  • 2 medium to large organic beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 1 onion/leek
  • 3 carrots, sliced or grated
  • 1 eggplant or 2-3 large cauliflower florets
  • 1 potato
  • can of white or red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10-12 chicken and cauliflower meatballs or 5-6 skinless drumsticks
  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 1 table spoon butter
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • pinch cumin seeds
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves or 2-3 thyme sticks
  • mild chilli, whole or deseeded to taste
  • sea salt and coarse black pepper for seasoning

Preparation:

chicken and cauliflower meatballs

  • heat butter and olive oil in a pan, add sliced onions
  • saute onions on low to medium heat until soft and translucent, season onions with salt and pepper
  • place chicken mince in a large bowl where it can be easily mixed with other ingredients
  • add sautéed onions, processed cauliflower, an egg, salt and pepper, cumin powder, garlic ans chilli paste (other spices or spice mix)
  • mix all ingredients together, shape the mixture into golf ball size or walnut size balls
  • use meatballs fresh or freeze them for future use

beetroot soup

  • heat olive and butter in a large and deep  casserole pan, add fennel and cumin seeds
  • slice onion/leek in semi-circles and fry gently for 2-3 minutes, season with salt and pepper
  • add grated beetroot and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes
  • add sliced carrots
  • add boiling water, thinly sliced garlic and chilli
  • wait until the boiling point, add fresh or frozen meatballs (or skinless chicken pieces on the bone)
  • when the contents of the pan reaches boiling point again, add eggplant/cauliflower and bay leaves/thyme
  • add drained and rinsed canned beans
  • reduce heat to medium/low and cook for 45-60 minutes
  • meatballs soup needs less time compared to the soup with chicken meat on the bone

Beetroot soup can be served without any garnish, but a sour cream and herbs, particularly dill, compliment and enhance  the taste.

With wholegrain gluten free bread, freshly baked or toasted from the freezer, beetroot soup makes nourishing and filling winter meal.

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10 thoughts on “Hearty Beetroot Soup

  1. I can’t wait for colder weather to have soup like this again. 🙂 My husband makes the best borsch ever! Maybe we’ll get a little more adventurous in the future, though, and try adding some of the ingredients you mentioned: cauliflower, eggplant, pumpkin, etc. And I totally agree with you that this kind of soup tastes even better when reheated, yum.

    1. It is a delicious soup, my husband can’t get enough of it. As it often happens in our family, once we like something, I cook it over and over again until we get excited by something else. It is ironic, but I have never cooked beetroot soup until now, so I am not even sure that I can call it borsch. Neither my mum, nor my great aunt cooked it either. But I am absolutely sure that it will stay in our winter menu forever. Having tried this soup yesterday with chicken meat, I have to say that I liked the one with meatballs, or as we call them at home frikadeles, better. My favourite options for the soup ingredients are cauliflower based meatballs with thinly sliced eggplant, that practically melts down during cooking.

      1. Yep, we are recipe repeaters as well, haha 🙂 🙂 Why mess with a good thing? (Until you get bored, at least.) I’m going to try making this soup + meatballs just as you described.

        PS: Not sure if I’ve commented on your blog before, but I’m a new-ish follower and everything here looks so, so tasty. You have a wonderful site!

      2. Thank you, I enjoy reading you blog. I am interested in topics of specifics in emotional perception in bilingual adults in second language environment. My first language is Russian, though I was born and lived half of my life in Latvia. My Russian became very poor after many years living in Australia to the point that when I started to publish gluten free recipes in my Russian culinary blog truecook.wordpress.com it was very difficult for me to find the right words. I had to back translate and use dictionary. It is much easier now, I have even started to write on non-culinary subjects.

      3. Dear Irena, thank you for the link to your Russian-language blog! 😀 That’s awesome! (And I’ll be reading it for language practice.)

        Congratulations on reacquiring fluency in your first language…. definitely not an easy task, but it’s a very worthy one. My native language is English, but I’ve been learning Russian for over 10 years. I actually saw a funny comment you left on another blog about cooking loan words in Russian- you had realized that that it was better to just write “muffin” than to use the lengthy description of “tiny individual cake”. So true! 🙂

  2. For years growing up I absolutely loathed beets, probably because the only ones my mom ever served were those hideous jarred ones in that despicable vinegary brine. So it was quite a shock when years later as a chef I tried my first fresh beetroot, simply roasted in its skin and sprinkled with salt and olive oil. So I can see why you like this soup so much – it looks absolutely delicious. And those chicken meatballs? Brilliant! Bravo.

    1. Thank you, for years we mainly had boiled in skin beetroot, grated with salt and sour cream. Sour cream in Latvia is a staple and my father even had picked herrings with sour cream. Occasionally I would make cold beetroot soup for warmer weather, but I never cooked borsch, a traditional soup from Ukrainian cousine. The irony is I had to spend 25 years in Australia to make my first attempt at such a popular soup.
      On the other note, I want to thank you for your last post about watches and the exhibition you attended. I immensely enjoyed my morning read. I share you love for watches and male watches are my favourite. Watches for ladies are usually too busy and excessively decorative to my taste. I personally like oversized Scandinavian simple and elegant models. Made myself a promise that I have enough of them and will stop buying. Just looking at some of them takes my breath away.

      1. Wow, thank you so much for the kind words! I’m so glad you enjoyed my little scribbling there, and it’s always wonderful to meet someone who shares your interest. I know what you mean about some (many) ladies watches just being over-the-top fussy. Fortunately more and more companies now are heeding that complaint – even my beloved unadorned Movado comes as a ladies watch not. It’s gorgeous. And oh those Scandinavians! The “Skagen” brand of watch has been one of my favorites from that country for a long time. You have excellent taste 🙂

      2. White oversized Skagen with just dots, no numbers, with white leather bracelet was the last one I bought 2 Christmases ago. Still delights me every time I wear it. Unfortunately very late, only in my fifties I made the decision to buy only first choice in what I want to have. If I can afford it. If I can’t I just go without it. Saves so much grief and gives so much pleasure. The decision, the anticipation and total joy later, are truly priceless.

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