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Beetroot and carrot borscht

publication date: Aug 9, 2011
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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It seems crazy to be thinking of soup at this time of year but given the weather and the fact beetroot is in season you might well fancy it. It was invented by my daughter Jo to use up produce from her veg box. Use organic veg if you can.

Serves 4
Time: about 35 minutes
Cost: about 75p a head

3 tbsp organic sunflower or organic rapeseed oil
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium carrots (about 175-200g) well scrubbed or peeled and grated
3 medium beetroot (about 300-350g) well scrubbed and peeled
1 tomato, skinned and roughly chopped (optional)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
750ml vegetable stock mixed with 1/2 tsp Marmite or brown miso
A handful of beet greens, washed and shredded
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar or vinegar to taste

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan or casserole and fry the bacon for a few minutes until the fat begins to run. Stir in the onion, turn the heat down, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes then add the remaining oil and the grated carrot and continue to cook, covered over a low heat. Halve the beetroot, slice thinly then slice across into short batons. Tip the beetroot and tomato, if using, into the other vegetables, stir, add the thyme and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil then cook until the vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a little sugar if you feel it needs it or a few drops of vinegar if you think it needs sharpening up. Add the shredded greens, cook for a couple more minutes and serve. Good with rye bread or sourdough bread spread with a soft cheese like Quark or goats cheese


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