Beets get a bad name, because nobody ever uses them or even knows what they actually taste like. They have also been known to stain EVERYTHING if you’re not careful with them. This recipe is delicious, but rather time consuming. It’s not difficult; everything just takes a while to cook down. I imagine it would go really well over rice.
Shannon and Stephani’s Rainbow Beet Soup
• 4-5 fresh beets
• 3 russet potatoes
• 3 small onions
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
• Fresh basil
• Fresh parsley
• Fresh rosemary
• Fresh or dried thyme
• Rainbow chard
• 3 carrots
• Pinto beans
• Red cooking wine
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Sizeable amount of vegetable stock- this is the KEY ingredient. You’ll want enough to cover the beets, to cover the beets and the potatoes, to cook the diced veggies in, and to mix with your blended stock.
1) Chop greens off beets and coarsely chop up beets. Place beets in a large stockpot and cover with some vegetable stock, a squirt or two of red cooking wine, salt, and pepper. Bring this to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow beets to simmer like this for 45+ minutes. The goal is to get them as tender and mushy as possible.
2) Dice up 1 ½ potatoes. If you are not going to skin them be sure that they are cut into small enough pieces that the skin won’t be overwhelming. Vegetable skin has a lot of nutrients in it. Place diced potatoes in stock pot with beets, add veggie stock as necessary to cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
3) Meanwhile, in a skillet heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter on low heat. Dice up 2 small onions, some chives, the garlic cloves, basil, parsley, and rosemary. Add onions to the butter when melted and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add everything else, salt and pepper to taste, and let it cook on low for about 10-15 minutes. You want the onions to be tender, not burnt, and all of the other stuff to be cooked down. Add butter as necessary. You want the consistency to be fairly buttery, since this is going to be a component of your stock.
4) As soon as the beet/potato mixture is cooled and the sautéed onion mixture is cooled (doesn’t have to be all the way, you just don’t want to put really hot things in a blender) combine them in a blender and liquefy. Don’t be surprised if it’s purple, that’s normal. Once blended, transfer back to stock pot. This is the base stock for your soup. It will probably be pretty thick. Add the liquid from the canned beans and veggie stock as necessary to get stock to desired consistency, just don’t over-do it. Set stock pot aside.
5) Chop up remaining potatoes, zucchini, squash, carrots, and chard. Chop the stems of the chard up as well. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add in potatoes and toss to coat in butter. Let them cook on their own for a minute or two and then add the zucchini, squash, carrots, and chard stems. Leave the chard greens out. Add a little bit of veggie stock, dried or fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring this mixture to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. You want the potatoes to be tender.
6) Put the stock pot full of beet stock on a burner at medium-low heat. Add in pinto beans and cooked veggie mixture as soon as it’s done. Cover and let it heat through. Meanwhile, in same sauté pan, heat a little bit of butter or olive oil over medium heat. Add chard and cook until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Once wilted, put chard into soup and heat through. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, crushed red chili flakes, and anything else that seems appropriate. Heath through and serve it up.
This recipe sounds a little complicated but my roomies are master chefs (also master improvisers!) Happy cooking!