With beetroots in season at the moment, you’re probably seeing them pop up in shops and supermarkets everywhere. It’s like we’re experiencing a mass invasion of the little blighters. Beetroot juice, beetroot crisps, beetroot brownies, beetroot hummus… It’s like the world only recently (but very enthusiastically) just discovered the things. It was in response to this glut of beetroots spilling off the shelves of my local shop that I decided to bang together this soup. With beetroot being credited with lowering blood pressure, increasing stamina and improving blood flow, there’s never been a better reason to add them to your five a day! (Oh, and there’s also the fact they’re great for your liver if you need to detox, or even if you just want to help recover from a heavy weekend).
This soup looks smashing. Its bright, bloody pink colour adds a bit of “wow factor” to a lunch for friends or as a dinner party starter… If I do say so myself. The sour cream and chive garnish packs a serious punch and adds a nice smack of flavour. Beetroots taste quite earthy so the sharpness of the sour cream garnish really complements it… So don’t skip it! I added a few wild leek flowers to my garnish but you don’t have to, I just have them growing all around my house and so have been throwing them into everything! Try this recipe out to make the most of the current beetroot season, and if you have any ideas for other beetroot recipes let me know in the comment section below.
6 large raw beetroots
3 large carrots
1 large onion
2 Irish Apples
2 large cloves garlic
1 inch ginger grated
Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper
Chop your beetroot into rough cubes and chop your carrots, add to a roasting dish with some oil & salt and roast until cooked through. Wear some gloves when chopping the beetroot unless you’re happy to have red nails for the next week.
In a large soup pot add the finely chopped garlic and grated ginger to some oil, gently fry for a minute or two.
Add the chopped onion and apple to the pot and cook for another few minutes before adding the roasted veggies.
Add in your stock and let the pot hum away for 20 minutes on a medium heat until all veggies are soft. Blitz with a hand blender (watch out for sprays of boiling soup… Never pleasant) until completely smooth. Have a taste and add salt and pepper (or even some apple cider vinegar) as needed.
Serve in warm bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of chives.
This recipe is as a result of tinkering around in the kitchen and trying to piece together some of my favourite things… Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails. Thankfully this worked out really well, as otherwise I wouldn’t have anything to put up this week! These lovely Chocolate Rum Raisin Squares are a lovely rich treat that are perfect for the holiday season with the nice warming kick from the boozy rum raisins. This is kind of like a cross between chocolate biscuit cake, millionaires shortbread and anything that contains rum raisin. I actually soaked my raisins for 5 days before using them but 2 or 3 days would probably do fine, the longer you leave them the more rum the raisins will absorb and so the plumper and juicier they will be!
This is are incredibly easy chocolate cake recipe to make, if you’re going to make these chocolate squares for a specific event then I suggest making them the night before so the melted chocolate has time to set. These would make a really nice gift for someone over Christmas… that is if you don’t eat them all first!
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup dark rum
175g soft dark brown sugar
280g plain / cream flour
200g dark chocolate (75% cocoa)
200g milk chocolate
Pop the raisins in a jar, pour in the rum and put on the lid. Let it soak for a few days so it the raisins absorb all the rum. You can give the jar a shake every now and then to ensure the rum is evenly distributed.
To make the base mix together the flour, sugar and butter with an electric mixer until you achieve a bread crumb consistency, mix in half of the raisins and then pat down the crumbs into a greased and lined brownie tin (around 8 x 12 inches).
Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 20-25 minutes.
Break the chocolate into little pieces and melt over a very low heat in a heavy bottomed pot, stirring until smooth, then take off the heat.
Sprinkle the remaining raisins over the biscuit base, and then pour the chocolate oven the raisins. Make sure the whole surface is evenly coated in chocolate and then pop into the fridge for a few hours until the chocolate it set. Then cut into squares and enjoy!