BEETROOT/BEET SOUP WITH APPLE & HAZELNUT
This rich, velvety, vibrant soup comes with a topping of Greek yogurt, diced apple and toasted hazelnuts, which not only add flavour and contrast in texture, but also boost the nutritional value. When it comes to nutrients, beetroot/beets are valued for their blood pressure-lowering nitrate content alongside iron, folate and magnesium.
Low: 6–7 hours
High: 5–6 hours
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
750 g/1 lb 10 oz. raw beetroot/beets, peeled, and cut into very small dice
2 green apples (no need to peel)
850 ml/1½ pints/3½ cups hot vegetable stock
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
squeeze of lemon juice
4 tbsp live Greek yogurt or dairy-free alternative
1 handful toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Put the olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and beetroot/beets into the slow cooker pot. Grate one of the apples into the pot, discarding the core, then pour in the hot stock. Cover and cook on low for 6–7 hours, or high for 5–6 hours, until the vegetables are tender. You can cook the soup for a couple of extra hours without spoiling the flavour or texture.
Meanwhile, toast the cumin and caraway seeds in a dry, non-stick frying pan/skillet for a minute until they smell aromatic, then tip into a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
Blend the soup using a stick blender until smooth, adding a little more stock if needed – the soup should be silky smooth and fairly thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Dice the remaining apple, discarding the core, and toss it in the lemon juice to stop it discolouring. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a swirl of yogurt, the toasted spices, diced apple and toasted hazelnuts.
Ryland Peters & Small 2017