November 3, 2007
We celebrated Hallowe’en this year with a blood-red bowl of spicy beetroot soup. The really scary bit happened the following day when it had worked its way through our systems…
Gastropunk’s Beetroot Soup
Ingredients: beetroot, pumpkin or squash, carrots, garlic, ginger, Panch Poran (an Indian mixture of five whole spices and seeds), stock (beef or vegetable), lemon, oil and butter, seasoning
1. You’ll need beetroot, pumpkin or squash and carrot in a ratio of roughly 2-1-1 (I used 3 beetroot, 2 carrots and quarter of a small pumpkin). Peel and chop into chunks. Finely chop a couple of cloves of garlic and a small knob of ginger.
2. Heat a glug of oil (not olive) and a small schlep of butter and gently fry the garlic and ginger for half a minute. Add 1 teaspoon or so of Panch Poran and cook for a minute longer, allowing the spices to release their aromatic flavour. Add the chunks of vegetable and continue to saute gently for a few minutes, stirring regularly.
3. Add enough stock to cover the veggies, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for about an hour.
4. Once the veggies are soft, blitz everything thoroughly and check the seasoning. I found it benefitted from a generous addition of both salt and pepper. A squeeze of fresh lemon at the end adds a citric balance to this sweet, spicy soup. You may also need to add some more water or stock if the soup is too thick.
5. Serve with a swirl of double cream or a spoonful of yoghurt.