Beetroot soup

With its vivid colour and lively mix of flavours, Valentine Warners soup is hearty enough for lunch or pretty enough to serve at a dinner party
By Valentine Warner
Beetroot soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 medium beetroot, washed, stalks and whiskers removed, skin on
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 small parsnips, diced
  • 2 Cox's apples, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • thumb-sized piece root ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 or 3 cloves
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 litres duck stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar, to taste
  • creme fraiche, to serve
  • chives, to garnish, optional

Tips and Suggestions

When preparing the veg, keep the peelings so they can simmer in the stock and provide extra flavour.

When trimming the beetroot, be careful not to cut too close to the flesh or it will bleed into the water and lose some of its colour.

To check when the beetroot is cooked, dont pierce with a knife, instead remove a beetroot with a slotted spoon and if the skin can be easily rubbed off it is done, if not, cook a bit longer.


1. Simmer the trimmed beetroots in their skins in a saucepan of water for about 30-40 minutes or until tender, see tip. Drain, then wearing rubber gloves, rub off their skins. Dice into bite-size chunks and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, Prepare the vegetables and apples reserving the peelings. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan. Drop in the onion and fry until soft, then stir in the parsnips, apples, garlic, ginger, thyme, cloves and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry for about 4-5 minutes until softened then mix in the tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Have the stock simmering away in another pan on another hob. Drop in the reserved onion skins and other peelings from the vegetables into the stock as you cook. Stir the diced beetroot into the softened vegetables. Pour the stock into this, scraping any caramelised bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the flavours have all mixed well.

4. Leave the soup to cool slightly, add the vinegar and then blend to a purée with a stick blender. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraiche and chopped chives if desired.

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