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by Emily Ho
Roasted Beet Soup with Fennel and Orange
I do appreciate the excuse to cook something brilliantly, undeniably pink. Most often that means playing with beets, and this year I'm roasting them up to make a velvety, magenta-colored soup.
From the looks of them, you'd never know that humble beets could be so luscious -- romantic, even. But sweetened up in the oven and pureed with good vegetable stock, they make a gorgeous, almost creamy (yet vegan) soup. This recipe incorporates two other cool-weather companions, fennel and orange, which brighten the earthy flavor.
If you eat dairy like yogurt, crème fraîche, or sour cream, you are welcome to garnish your beet soup with a dollop, or even go all out and use it to draw white hearts. It's hardly necessary, though, as this soup is full of lively flavor and color on its own. Served as a starter or light meal, it's especially satisfying with a piece of crusty homemade bread.
Roasted Beet Soup with Fennel and Orange Recipe
2 pounds beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large (about 1 pound) fennel bulb, cut into wedges (reserve fronds for garnish)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (reserve zest of 1 orange for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Toss the beets and fennel with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, thyme, a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, until the beets are tender, about 45 minutes.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute or two until fragrant. Add the beets, fennel, and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the mixture in a blender. Transfer the puree to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the orange juice and vinegar. Salt to taste.
To serve, garnish with orange zest and fennel fronds.
Soup, Roasted Beet Soup with Fennel and Orange Recipe, Vegan Soup Cuisine
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"Roasted Beet Soup with Fennel and Orange"
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