hard to beet


The Galloway News - - Food & Drink -


(Serves 4)

3tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil; 4 or 5 raw beet­root (about 600g), peeled and roughly diced; 4 ten­der cel­ery sticks, thinly sliced; 2 large gar­lic cloves, thinly sliced; 1 onion, thinly sliced; 2 dessert ap­ples; 200ml cloudy ap­ple juice; Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per. To serve

(op­tional): Ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil; A scat­ter­ing of basil leaves; Spoon­fuls of nat­u­ral yoghurt; 4 small baked dessert ap­ples


1. Place a medium, heavy-based pan over a gen­tle heat. Add the olive oil and, when it’s hot, add the beet­root, cel­ery, gar­lic and onion. Sea­son with salt and pep­per and cook, stir­ring reg­u­larly, for 12-15 min­utes, or un­til the veg­eta­bles are be­gin­ning to soften and smell sweet and tasty.

2. Mean­while, peel, quar­ter and core the ap­ples, then slice them thickly. When the veg­eta­bles are ready, add the ap­ples to the pan, stir, then cook for a fur­ther one to two min­utes be­fore adding 600ml of wa­ter. Place a lid on the pan and bring the soup to the sim­mer. Leave to sim­mer gen­tly for 10 min­utes, un­til all the veg­eta­bles are ten­der.

3. La­dle the soup into a blender. Add the ap­ple juice and whizz un­til smooth. Re­turn the soup to the pan and bring it briefly back to the sim­mer. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste and re­move from the heat.

4. If you in­tend to serve the soup cold, leave it to cool, then trans­fer it to a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for three to four hours.

5. You can serve the soup just as it is, but I like to fin­ish it with a swirl of olive oil, a scat­ter­ing of fresh basil, a spoon­ful of or­ganic nat­u­ral yoghurt, and even a small, whole baked ap­ple, but that’s en­tirely op­tional.

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