I came to love beets late in life. As a child, no amount of threats could make me eat the vinegary slices that we were served in the UK. Then a vegetarian friend of mine served me roasted beets. What a difference! I started to experiment. I ate borscht! This Spiced Beet & Tomato Soup started out as a curry, then one day I blended some leftovers and ended up with this gorgeous-looking, delicious spiced beet & tomato soup. The color was unbelievable. Try it with a swirl of sour cream or Greek yogurt and garnish with a pinch of cilantro.To see how to make it, check out our video.
1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for a few seconds until they start to darken, then throw in the garlic. Stir-fry the garlic until it starts to turn golden. Add the onion. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until the onion softens.
2. Add the flour and cayenne. Stir and fry for a minute, taking care not to burn them. Add the beets, tomatoes, salt, and 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Cover and turn heat to low.
3. After about 30 minutes the beets should be tender. Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Use a blender to puree the soup. Adjust the seasonings and add a little water if it seems too thick — it should have a thick, creamy consistency. Heat through over medium-low heat. Serve in bowls with a swirl of sour cream or Greek yogurt and a pinch of cilantro, if using.
- 4 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
- 1½ teaspoons whole cumin seed
- 1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1/8 to ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 bunch of beets (3 to 4 roots), topped, tailed, scrubbed and cut into 6 wedges per beet
- 1½ cups chopped tomato or 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
- Chopped cilantro to garnish (optional)
- Greek yogurt (optional)