This soup is a variant of the creamy leek and potato classic, with the addition of roasted beets which give it a brilliant, dramatic color and slightly sweeter, more exotic flavor. The vegetables do double duty: leek tops and beet stems and greens are used for a flavorful vegetable broth. And a handful of the tenderest beet greens triple up in a gingery, peppery pesto garnish for the soup.
The accompanying buckwheat blinis are elegant and versatile. Instead of the traditional caviar topping, you can garnish them simply with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of chives, or add a sprinkle of bacon bits or smoked fish. As another garnish choice I made some "lentil caviar": some little green French lentils cooked with diced onions and carrots in bacon fat and a splash of balsamic vinegar until they just start to soften but still have some bite. A fun dinner party option would be to let your guests decorate their own blinis from a range of toppings. —Fairmount_market