It was my flatmate that requested beetroot and celeriac from the veg shop this week, which means that I can’t take credit for this flavour combination at all. This dish was very much a team effort, as all the best dishes are.
It was a rainy, stormy, horrible day in Edinburgh yesterday; the sort of day where you really need a bright, sunshiney bowl of something to make you feel like the world isn’t all one massive grey cloud. We remembered the beetroots waiting in the fridge and realised they’d be perfect.
This is a subtle, gently flavoured soup that leans a little on Russian/Ukrainian cooking; the dill and beetroot combination is one that occurs in many recipes, most notably in borscht. Don’t hold back with the dill; chuck a good handful in there and some on top as well. Don’t be afraid of the dill!
If you want to make this a little quicker and easier, you can boil the beetroot with the celeriac instead of roasting the beetroot. However, I think that roasting the beetroot brings out a much better flavour, so if you have time to do this, please do!
3 medium beetroot (900g), peeled and cut into small cubes
1 white onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped or smashed
1 large white potato (400g), peeled and cut into small cubes
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 large celeriac (600g), peeled and cut into small cubes
1 litre vegetable stock
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
small handful fresh dill
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Place the beetroot cubes into a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Make sure they’re covered
Roast for about an hour, or until they’re relatively soft
About 40 minutes into the roasting time, heat a little more oil in a large saucepan and add in the onion and garlic
Cook for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent, then add in the potato, celery and celeriac
Stir to coat for a few minutes, then add in enough of the stock to cover the vegetables. Reserve the rest
Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes
After 20 minutes, remove the beetroot from the oven and add into the pan with the rest of the vegetable stock. Season well.
Cook for around 15 more minutes, until all the vegetables are tender
Remove the heat and allow to cool a little
Transfer to a blender and puree, or puree with a hand blender. Add a little water if the soup is too thick
Place back on the heat and add in the lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper, and cook until hot
Serve immediately with more fresh dill on top
As you’ll already know if you read this blog, I put tahini in or on absolutely everything these days (food, clothes, the floor), and the delightfully beige swirl on these pictures is a simple tahini sauce. Just stir together a tablespoon of tahini with about a tablespoon of water, adding more until it reaches your desired consistency. Tahini and beetroot go really well together, and it adds to the presentation of the dish. Also black cracked pepper makes everything look better.
This will survive in the fridge for a week or more, and will also freeze really well. But, honestly, you will probably just snarf it all. It’s pretty great.