The Solace of a Soupy Pick-Me Up

At the end of a long day, I sometimes seek the solace of a soupy pick-me-up.  Preparing a good soup helps me wind down, and sitting in front of its steamy goodness feels nice for several reasons.  First, I know my spirit-lifting soup is easy on my wallet.  Second, my soup is versatile – I can always add a fresh, personal twist to it.  And third, my soup warms my body and soul.

This particular soup, my beautiful beetroot soup, has an additional “wow” factor with its gorgeous presentation.  If you have had a long day and need a lovely, simple soup to soothe you, I recommend this one.  It is bound to put a smile on your face.

Roasted Beetroot Soup and Goat Cheese Cream


For the soup
1kg beetroot, peeled
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 white onions, finely diced
2 banana shallots, finely diced
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 pinch of salt
A few tsps olive oil
750g good quality stock – Beef stock is preferable, but chicken or vegetable is fine too. If you  have never made your own stock and don’t know how to, get in touch with me and I’ll send you my recipe.  It really is worth the time for many dishes.

For the cream
200g single cream
100g goat cheese with rind


FOR THE CREAM, add the cream and the goat cheese with rind to a small saucepan on medium heat.  Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the cheese has melted. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve, using the wooden spoon to separate the rind or hard bits from the cream. Place the cream in a bowl, season and reserve in your fridge.

FOR THE SOUP, preheat the oven at 180C. In a roasting tray, place the beetroot, olive oil, crushed garlic, herbs and a nice pinch of salt. Mix it well to ensure every ingredient is nicely coated in olive oil. Cover the tray with foil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until the beetroots are soft enough for a knife to go through them without much effort.

While the beets are roasting, add the onions and shallots to a deep sauce pan, big enough to make your soup in, and soften them for 4 to 5 minutes. If you are like me, French and addicted to garlic, now is a good time to add a couple of extra garlic cloves to your pan and cook them with your onions and shallots. From your oven tray, take your beetroot and soft garlic and add them to your sauce pan. Cover with the stock and enough water to just cover your ingredients. Bring to a boil and blend to a smooth soup, add a touch of water if you want a thinner liquid.  Season to taste.  Serve in a nice bowl straight away, and top with a large spoon of your goat cheese cream.

As I mentioned, variations are endless. There are a few variants that I have tried many times and like very much. For example, add a chopped fresh fennel and a star anise along with your onions – it adds a lovely flavour of which I am quite a fan.  Squeezing a lemon into your soup at the end of the cooking is a great idea as well.  The citrus makes the soup feel lighter and fresher. With the cream, you can replace the goat cheese with 10 to 15 grs of fresh horseradish if you like a bit of kick.  Fresh chopped chili adds even more spice if you like that extra heat.  Basically, make it your own and do let me know how it goes!

Any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch via email or twitter @Chef_Joris_uk.





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