Sunday, October 19, 2008
Beet and Cumin Soup
This was inspired by beet soup we had at Dosa last month that was smooth, earthy and swirled with a little creme fraiche. Our attempted reconstruction came out equally satisfying--make sure to be persistent in pureeing the soup, since the creaminess is a big part of this soup's apppeal.
We made our own stock with the trimmings, and while that may be too fussy for some, we find that making stock out of beet trimmings for a beet soup really brings the sweetness forward. It really doesn't add much time.
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 large leek, white part only, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 lbs beets, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt to taste
Yogurt for topping
First, start a stock with the leek tops, beet trimmings, thyme stems, garlic skins (also, whatever other veggie bits you have lying around) and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer while you do everything else. Strain.
Melt butter over medium-high heat in a stock pot and add cumin seeds. Stir quickly, then add leeks and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, until leeks start to soften. Add beets, thyme and barely enough stock to cover. Simmer about 30 minutes or so, until beets are tender. Transfer to a blender (in batches if necessary) and puree until very smooth, adding more stock if necessary. Return to pot, salt to taste, and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with a swirl of yogurt.