This is essentially the Nigel Slater recipe "A chilled soup of goat cheese and beets" from page 052 of his book Tender, but I've adapted it to streamline the process and have added my favorite garnishes to make it my own. It's the perfect soup for a hot day, since the beets can be roasted in advance and it's served cold. I like to bring out a loaf of crusty, sourdough rye bread and a big salad to go with this, but I imagine that it would also pair well with German or Polish sausages for a heartier meal. —Raindrops on Rhubarb
3-4, depending on serving size
For the Beet Soup:
(500 g) Raw beets
Green onions (white parts only) -OR- 1 medium Shallot, thinly sliced
(750 mL) light chicken stock/ vegetable stock -OR- 1 15 oz can low sodium chicken broth with water added to create 3 cups total
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Chevre Cream and Garnishes:
Chevre goat cheese
approximately 3 tablespoons
Plain yogurt (not Greek style)
Fresh chives, chopped
Middle Eastern cucumber, diced
White wine vinegar -OR- Fresh lemon juice
Rinse and cut off the tops of the beets. Put them together in a foil packet and place this on a cookie sheet. Roast the beets, wrapped tightly in the foil, at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, or until they are tender when pierced with a small knife. The timing will really depend on the size of your beets. If your beets are giant, you may want to cut them in half before wrapping them in the foil to speed the process along. Allow the beets to cool to room temperature and then rub off their skins. Save any juices that have collected in the foil.
In a small pan, heat the olive oil until shimmering over medium heat and then add the sliced onions or shallot. Cook until translucent, but not yet browning, then remove from the heat.
If the beets are not already at a size that your blender can handle easily, chop them up into smaller pieces. Add all of your beets to the blender with your chicken/vegetable stock and the cooked onion/shallot. Puree until silky smooth and uniform. The amount of time this will take and the setting to use will depend on your blender model.
Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill the pureed soup until cold.
Just before serving, prepare your garnishes. For the chevre cream, blend together the goat cheese and yogurt with a fork until a thick cream results. Put this into a separate container, cover and refrigerate. For the diced cucumbers, them into a bowl and toss with a splash or two of either white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for at least ten minutes to let the flavors meld.
To serve, put a large dollop of the chevre cream in the center of each bowl of chilled beet soup, then sprinkle with fresh chopped chives. At the table, offer the cucumbers, additional vinegar or lemon juice, any leftover chevre cream and the fresh chopped dill as garnishes to add independently.