Beets: I cannot help but be seduced by their brilliant colors and their nutritional riches, but their flavor has been a more trying relationship. With some will I have managed to develop a taste for these beautiful vegetables and discovered along the way that their earthy flavor is nicely offeset when combined with a range of acidic, spicy and sweet flavors. This soup plays off of these tastes, combining beets with citrus, ginger, chile and honey. —TasteFood
Roasted Red Beet, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup
large red beets
small yellow onion, chopped
freshly grated ginger
large garlic clove, minced
small serrano chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed blood orange juice
freshly squeezed lime juice
salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional whole leaves for garnish
Orange Crème Fraîche (recipe below)
blood orange slices, cut in half
Orange Crème Fraîche
crème fraîche (or Greek-style whole milk yogurt)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Trim the tops and ends of the beets. Place in a baking dish and fill water up to 1" in bottom of dish. Roast beets in oven until tender, about 1 hour. Remove and cool. Peel off skin and coarsely chop beets.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until nearly translucent without coloring, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and serrano chile; sauté 30 seconds. Add water and beets. Cover and simmer 10 minutes; the vegetables should be very soft. Cool slightly.
Transfer to bowl of food processor or blender. Add blood orange juice and purée until smooth. Return to saucepan. (If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency with additional orange juice. It should not be too thin.) Stir in lime juice and honey. Add salt and pepper and taste to adjust seasoning.
Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature. Before serving stir in chopped cilantro.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top with a spoonful of Orange Crème Fraîche. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves and a slice of blood orange.
Note: Freshly squeezed orange juice may be substituted for blood orange juice.
Orange Crème Fraîche
Combine crème fraîche and orange juice in a small bowl.