Wednesday 23 January 2008

HoTM #11: Chunky Beetroot Soup with Kidney Beans

When I think beetroot soup, I usually think borscht, Russian peasants, snow and heavy stodgy food. But finally I have made this soup recipe which I found in the magazine supplement of one of the British broadsheets during a visit 2 years ago. It comes from Antony Worrell Thompson. I think it is from his book called Antony Worrell Thompson's GI Diet but that is just a hunch not a fact.

This is a lovely light soup that is just right for summer – it left me satisfied without feeling stuffed. Which is ironic as this recipe reminds me of being in Scotland in winter, of sitting in my in-laws loungeroom in front of the gas fire perusing the weekend papers while eating Cadbury Mini Rolls. I can’t resist tearing a recipe out of any newspaper when it takes my fancy. This recipe travelled back home in my suitcase and was finally written into my notebook. It was well worth the effort.

Whether in summer or winter, I recommend this soup as a starter or main meal – we ate it with olive bread one night and pumpkin and cumin bread the next. It was quite watery but had a lovely subtle flavour. The ruby beetroot colour is bright enough for summer cheer and deep enough to warm in winter. It was even redder and tastier the next day. I have written in my notebook that it is low GI and has 189 calories and 1g of fat per serving. This has to be good for you.

I am sending this soup to Joanna of Joanna’s Food for the regular Heart of the Matter event which aims to promote food which is heart-healthy. The focus in January is on soups.

Chunky Beetroot Soup with Kidney Beans
(from Antony Worrell Thompson)
Serves 6-8

2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large turnip or swede, peeled and chopped
1 large parsnip, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
500g beetroot (about 2 large), peeled and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh thyme*
4 tsp vegetable stock powder (I used Massel, he used a salt reduced stock cube)
400g potatoes (about 3 medium), diced
200g cabbage (about ¼ large cabbage)
410g tin of kidney beans, drained
1 tsp freshly ground pepper (I used pepper berries)
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
150g yoghurt to serve
Fresh chopped herbs to garnish (I used chives, he used dill)

* I was posh and made a bouquet garni from my garden because I am tired of taking thyme leaves off the twigs – so I tied together a few sticks of thyme, a sprig of parsley and a bay leave and put them in the soup while it simmered, then removed before serving.

Place first 9 ingredients into large stockpot with 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add potatoes, cabbage, beans and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes til potatoes are tender. Stir in vinegar. Serve in large bowls with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of herbs.

On the Stereo:
Prism of Eternal Now: White Rainbow


  1. This sounds lovely - and the pumpkin bread sounds fabulous too

    Thanks for sharing

  2. What a beautiful soup! I just can't keep up to all of the wonderful recipes you provide here. There are quite a few that I intend to try. It's winter where I am, but I am sure this soup would be very yummy right now. You've made me hungry.

  3. A new, new, new use for beetroot - how exciting. This looks grand Johanna and simple too. I know absolutely nothing about Anthony Worrell Thompson - but what a grand name he has. Would you recommend investigating further, or is this recipe just a one-off Worrell Thompson gem?

  4. Thanks Joanna - yes, I think I could live on just that soup and pumpkin bread, they are so good!

    Thanks Lisa - glad you are enjoying the recipes, - I have got a blog index up on the left hand menu which might help you feel a bit less overwhelmed. Hope you get to make this soup sometime as it is a good one!

  5. thanks Kathryn - I am excited by this soup. As for AWT (as he brands himself on his website) I have never been overly impressed until I made this soup! According to a bit I read on the website he had a health scare and has started more healthy recipes, so maybe is making more interesting stuff now but I think he made too much meaty stuff for me in the past.

  6. Hello, found your site via the Heart of the Matter soup round up. I love that you have so many vegetables in your soup. I don't typically think to utilize root vegetables when I make soup - I will now!

    I can completely relate to your comment about the thyme. It is labor intensive to pull off all those tiny leaves.

  7. What a pretty a delicious-sounding soup!

  8. thanks for visiting lisarene - I love root vegetables in soup - esp in a good scottish barley soup (I think there is one in the great heart of the matter round up). Glad to hear it is not just me to find thyme leaves frustrating!

    Thanks Ann - the picture in the post is of the soup after sitting for a day when it looked and tasted even better!

  9. On the menu tomorrow night. Thank you!


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)