My husband brought back a bottle of Pinot Nero from Bologna, Italy, and I’m so excited to try it. From family cookouts to friend birthday celebrations filled with champagne and laughs, I welcome a nice relaxing Friday evening with a good bottle of wine. Oh and Mad Men. I am almost done with season 5 with only 4 episodes left to watch. Then I will be able to catch up on this season of True Blood. I’m tempted to start watching Walking Dead. I’ll keep an open mind and check out the first episode. Speaking of which, the Emmy nominations came out yesterday, and I’m so stoked that Mad Men and American Horror Story got 17 nominations each. I’m addicted to both.
I plan on stopping by Levain Bakery this weekend for some delicious chocolate walnut and dark chocolate cookies. I’ve been craving them for awhile now. I really need to do a post to explain how amazing these cookies really are since I talk about them so much. I also plan on stopping by my favorite neighborhood coffee store, The Sensuous Bean , for my monthly supply of coffee for my espresso maker. It’s another hidden gem in the Upper West Side.
I love beets, especially golden beets. This cool beet soup is perfect for summer since it’s served cold. After making this soup, I really want to try making it with golden beets and shallots. The original recipe calls for raw horseradish which I omitted. I made the red pepper flakes optional. It really depends on if you like heat in your soup. I made it with red pepper flakes, and thought it was a little too spicy. So I will omit them next time. Again this is personal preference. I added crumbled goat cheese to the recipe which adds a bit of tang to the soup. It’s a delicious soup for a summer lunch or dinner.
Red beets tend to stain your hands. What I like to do is cover my hand that holds the beets (opposite the cutting hand) with a plastic sandwich bag to keep my fingers from getting stained. To peel the beets, cut the ends. Then use a knife and cut the skin off with downward strokes all the way around the beet. It’s a lot easier than using a peeler.
Once the beets are peeled, they are ready to be diced. They don’t have to be perfectly diced because everything is going to be pureed in the food processor.
As you can see, I added red pepper flakes to the soup. Next time, I will omit them all together because it overpowers the soup in my opinion.
Puree the soup in batches. No worries! The soup doesn’t stain anything.
Cool Beet Soup
adapted from Molto Batali
serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 to 6 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (see note below)
1 medium red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled for garnish
1 bunch fresh chives, cut in 1/2-inch pieces for garnish
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beets and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the vegetable broth and tomato sauce. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes. The beets should be very tender.
Puree the soup in small batches using a food processor. The soup should be smooth. Transfer the pureed soup back to the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. (It should take about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to season the soup just right). Place the pot on the stove and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. (If the soup is too thick, thin it out by adding more vegetable broth if necessary). Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or more.
Serve the soup in bowls and garnish with crumbled goat cheese and chives.
Note: When prepping red beets, cover your hand that holds the beets (opposite the cutting hand) with a plastic glove or sandwich bag to keep your hand from staining.
Note: This soup can be served chilled, at room temperature, or hot. I’ve tried all 3 ways, and all taste delicious.