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Spiced beetroot borscht

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With beetroot in season, Emma from Mrs B's kitchen says this tasty recipe is quick and easy to make and the colour will brighten up a grey winter evening

Spiced beetroot borscht
Spiced beetroot borscht

Here at Mrs B's Kitchen, before deciding what to cook we look at what is abundant at the local market and right now it’s beetroot. There is so much more to do with beetroot than just pickling it. Did you know it’s a great source of iron, vitamins A, C and folic acid and the wonderful anthocyanin, which we hear is so good for us? This vibrant and delicious recipe can be made ahead of time and can either be used as a main course soup or served in little portions as a sophisticated canapé. It can also be easily tailored to suit a range of dietary requirements.

Serves 4-6 as a bowl of soup or about 30 as a canapé
Preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

1 large lemon
250g raw beetroot
100g onion
1 garlic clove
60g carrot
50g celery stalk
750 ml water
1 tbsp marigold or quality stock
¼ tsp ground black pepper
3 allspice berries
1 bay leaf
1 x 400g tin flageolet beans, drained
60g tomato purée

Dill Cream
1 small bunch dill
150g crème fraiche
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Zest and juice the lemon, set aside the zest for the dill cream and the juice for the soup.
2. Peel the beetroot, onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Place into a food processor with a blade attachment and pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped.
3. Transfer vegetables into a large pan and add the water, stock, pepper, allspice berries, bay leaf, flageolet beans and tomato purée.
4. Cover and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and allspice berries if you can find them – if not, don’t worry as the food processor should blend them. Allow to cool slightly then return to the food processor to blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Season to taste with reserved lemon juice and salt.*
5. Dill Cream: While the soup is simmering, finely chop the dill and mix with the cream, reserved lemon zest and seasoning. Hold back a little of the dill for decoration.
6. To serve, pour into little shot glasses or espresso cups, top with the dill cream and decorate with reserved dill.

*If you are making the soup ahead of time it can now be chilled or frozen and will simply need reheating before serving.

This soup is already egg, nut and gluten free, but if you wish for it to be dairy free and vegan too, then simply substitute the cream for your preferred free-from option! We have tried Alpro Soya Cream and Oatly Creamy Oat Fraiche and both work well

Mrs B's Kitchen Café, Faraday Road, Newbury. Tel: 01635 901471 www.mrsb.kitchen
Open: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. Saturday 9:30am-3:30pm and Sunday 10am-3:30pm

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