The Beet Soup Experiment
While I was in NYC, my sister-in-law tried a Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup recipe from Whole Living magazine, and it was quite delicious! I’ve never tried a beet soup before, even though I’ve had both pickled and roasted beets in salads on numerous occasions. I was also amazed at how much better home-made soups taste compared to packaged ones (not to mention that they are usually cheaper to make at home). So after returning to Boston on Sunday night, I was determined to try my hand at a beet soup. I used the recipe above as a starting point and then made some minor modifications: I used 4 smallish beets, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic paste (since I didn’t have garlic cloves on hand), and I omitted the leek since I didn’t have any at home (and forgot to buy it at the store). I also used rosemary instead of thyme – again because I didn’t have any at home.
The soup turned out good – not as good as the actual recipe (of course!!), but it was still easy to make, delicious and highly nutritious! And I didn’t have too many mishaps with the food processor (just a minor incident with beet juice on my sweater… oops 🙂 My hand-held blender refused to co-operate so that’s why I resorted to the food processor….and it worked just as well.
Although beets may be an acquired taste for many individuals, they are highly nutritious and the soup is a great way to add some of the beet nutrients to your diet, especially in these freezing months. Beets are actually high in folate, manganese and fiber, and they are a fabulous source of antioxidants, being particularly rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which can protect our cells from free radical damage and promote eye health as this website describes.
Beets are also rich in the phytonutrients called betalin which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as described here. So whether or not you decide to try making beet soup at home (If you do, just don’t wear anything white or light-colored, and make sure your dog is not hovering at your feet or she will end up with beet juice-stained fur), give beets another chance. Try a soup or try them roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper – as a healthy side dish or an addition to a salad. You might find yourself with a newfound fondness for this typically pickled vegetable!