May 27, 2020
Beets may be considered a superfood because of their high levels of nutrients, including potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate and vitamin C — but their strong flavors can take some getting used to. Golden beets have all the nutrients of red beets but are milder in flavor because they have less betaine, the element that gives beets their earthy, almost medicinal taste.
My favorite way to cook beets is to combine them with a small amount of lentils, which helps balance the flavors. This soup also works well as a sauce for grilled portobello mushrooms or fish.
3 tablespoons yellow lentils (moong, masoor, or toor)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds yellow beets (2 large or 3 medium)
1-inch piece of ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 serrano, finely minced
1 tablespoon red onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons goat cheese
Few sprigs of herbs (such as oregano, basil, or cilantro)
Serves 4 to 6
Rinse the lentils and soak for an hour. Drain.
Peel and cut the beets into 1/2-inch pieces. Without peeling the ginger, chop it into 1/2-inch pieces also.
Combine the drained lentils, beets, ginger, turmeric, and 4 cups water into a stockpot.Bring to a boil, cover the stockpot and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the beets and lentils are tender. Let the mixture rest for 10 to 12 minutes, then purée in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the stockpot. The soup should be fairly thick and creamy. If not, cook it for a little longer. If too thick, add a few tablespoons of water.
In a small frying pan, heat the ghee and pop the cumin seeds. Immediately take off the burner and stir the oil along with the seeds into the soup.
Pour the soup into serving bowls, top with minced onions, serrano, goat cheese, and a sprinkling of herbs.
This soup can be made with red beets — but do not let the beets cook for too long or the brilliant color will be lost.
To make a plant-based version, replace the ghee with olive or coconut oil and omit the cheese.
Serve the soup cold for an interesting first course.
December 02, 2022