Spiced Beet and Carrot Soup

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine (December 2012)*

This beautiful, deep garnet soup is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s lightly sweet, tart and smooth, so the addition of tangy Greek yogurt and crunchy walnuts rounds out both the flavors and textures nicely. I also think goat cheese goes very well with this soup, so I served a simply dressed green salad topped with fresh oranges and goat cheese on the side. A perfect winter lunch or light dinner, right?

  • 1 pound small red beets, peeled and quartered (see tips)
  • 1/2 pound large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (see tips)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt, for serving
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, for serving

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place beets and carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and toss to coat evenly. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes, tossing once midway through. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch pieces (see tips).
  • Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and swirl the pan until the oil is warm and coats the bottom. Add the apple, onion and garam masala. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the roasted beets and carrots, broth and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before pureeing.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender (unless you have a high capacity blender, do this in two batches). Be sure to allow steam to escape. I like to put a dark towel or cloth napkin over the steam hole just in case of splatters. Puree until soup is smooth. Add the lemon juice and pulse a few times until incorporated. Serve soup hot, topped with yogurt and walnuts.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. Peeling beets is a messy ordeal. I tried to find the ones that have already been peeled and chopped (lazy!) but they didn’t have any at the store. The juice will temporarily stain your hands, cutting board and knife but if you clean them quickly with very hot water and soap the stains will quickly fade. Take care not to get the juice on your clothing. I don’t know much about getting beet juice out of fabric. Also, save the tops! You can chop them into a salad or use them in green juice.
  • 2. I used a Fuji apple. You could also use a tart apple like a Granny Smith if you’d like a little more pucker.
  • 3. Garam masala is a spice combination used in Indian curries. It includes black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and coriander. If you don’t have it at home and don’t want to buy yet another bottle to put in your spice collection, you can experiment with these spices to mimic the flavors of the mixture.
  • 4. I followed this recipe in roasting larger pieces of vegetables, then chopping them later. I don’t really see why this is necessary. Next time I make this, I’m going to chop the beets and carrot into 1-inch pieces before roasting to save the step. In addition to saving later work, the vegetables will become more deeply roasted in smaller pieces. Deeper roasting equals more flavor.
  • *I find occasional inspiration in Cooking Light magazine, but I always do the same thing to their recipes – add salt and fat. I’m sure the editors at Cooking Light would not approve. In this case, I doubled the salt (from 1/4 teaspoon) and added about two extra teaspoons of olive oil to enhance the roasting of the vegetables. In my experience, root vegetables become most tender and sweet when I’m a little heavy-handed with the olive oil. I also doubled the lemon juice from the original recipe.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4




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