When the mercury hit 113° last week all I had were root vegetables and little desire to go the store. I made this soup by simmering the beets instead of roasting them which would have been unbearable in the heat. Its flavor is as delicate as its color is bold. The photo, sadly, doesn’t do the soup justice. In real life it’s the exact shade of the magenta Crayola crayon. Made me wish I knew a few 6-year olds in princess tiaras to invite over for pink soup in china tea cups. Seed-laden bread, toasted and spread with soft chèvre, a drizzle of olive oil and Maldon sea salt added crunch. I ate it for lunch three days in a row.
8 medium-sized beets, trimmed and washed with skins intact
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, cut into medium dice
8 cups vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh dill, roughly chopped
In a soup pot, cover the beets with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer until beets are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool
While the beets cool, return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the butter and then sweat the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and keep warm over low heat.
When beets are cool enough to handle, cut each into quarters and slip off the skins. They should come off easily. Add the naked beets to the vegetable stock and carefully puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in an upright blender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Warm and enjoy with a sprinkle of fresh dill or chill for a few hours. If chilling, taste again for seasoning once the soup is cold. Lacking the aroma that comes from heat, chilled soup needs an extra bump up in flavor. Add fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed.