Vibrant Beet Soup with Beet Greens

So, I’m on a bit of a beet kick. Who isn’t at this time of year? This soup, adapted from Vegetable Soups by my favorite chef, Deborah Madison, uses not only the beets and their greens, but also their stems to make the stock. The bold jewel tone of the soup is breathtaking, but take care to wear a black shirt when eating this!

Red Beet Soup
Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
about 1 cup leek greens (from 1-2 leeks), washed and roughly chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
3 large bay leaves
1 thyme sprig or a pinch of dried
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
6 cups water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 slender carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1 red bell pepper, peeled and diced*
6 small red beets (about 1-2 oz each), peeled and cut into 1/2″ wedges
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
one 15 oz can diced tomatoes

To Serve
beet greens from one bunch of beets
plain yogurt, for serving
lemon wedges, for serving

1.) Make the stock. Heat oil in a large Dutch Oven or soup pot over medium-high. Add all of the stock ingredients except for the beet stems and salt, and cook until vegetables are beginning to brown; 10 minutes or so. Add beet stems, salt, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, and no longer. The stock will begin to turn from red to brown at this point.

2.) While the stock is simmering, make the soup. Heat oil and butter in a Dutch Oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add carrots, pepper, beets, bay leaves, oregano, allspice, and garlic. Cook for 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper, brown sugar, tomatoes, and stock. Simmer, partially covered, until beets are cooked through; 20-25 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and season accordingly.

3.) To serve, cook beet greens in a small pan over medium heat with a bit of water and salt until tender, 4-5 minutes. For each bowl, add a spoonful of beet greens, a dollop of yogurt, and a wedge of lemon on the side.

*To peel the pepper, roast in the oven at 400 degrees, turning each time the skin becomes blackened, until skin is blistered on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover for 20 minutes to allow the bowl to steam up. This makes the skins easy to remove. Then slip off the skin, remove seeds, and dice.

This recipe was adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen by Deborah Madison. Published by Broadway Books; 2006.


One response to “Vibrant Beet Soup with Beet Greens

  1. My mother loved this recipe… thanx for sharing

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