Contrary to photographic evidence, Brittany doesn’t like beets. In fact when I was thinking of things to do with our CSA beets this week I asked her, “You’re the one who loves beets, right?” To which she retorted – positively horrified – “EW! No.” And then, “Wait, who loves beets?” In the same way someone might say, “Wait, who loved the Spanish Inquisition?”
So we made her beet soup.
It occurred to me to trick her into eating it, tell her it was squash or something and then spring it on her afterwards. But if someone did that to me, I would flip. So I gave her the benefit of the doubt and told her it was indeed beets, and gave her full permission to not touch it, or having tried it to dump it politely down the drain. She later told me I was encouraged to trick her into eating new foods (sans viande) any time – and I’m really considering the possibilities.
But she, as per usual, was a sport.
Harvest abound, we’ve had enormous CSA loads lately. This week we got arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, kale, peppers, hot peppers, romaine lettuce, string beans, cherry tomatoes, tomato-tomatoes (and tomatoes and tomatoes), plums, pears, and a hernia from carrying it all home.
I found this lovely vegan soup on Epicurious for Beet, Ginger, and Coconut Milk Soup, and tweaked around with the recipe a bit.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 3 large red beets
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- Epi calls for 1 can (14.5 ounces) of low-fat coconut milk. But it seems pretty obvious to me that low-fat coconut milk is half coconut and half water. So if I really need for something to be lighter, I can use half a can of regular and pour the rest in as water. But I think coconut milk is lovely as is.
- And Epi calls for 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, but I think it’s fair to say that you can be pa-retty generous with the salting.
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Our beets from our CSA, as always, were gorgeous. Their colors are just unreal. I’m so infatuated with beet color that I once dyed a few articles of clothing with beet juice, thinking the color would penetrate. It did not, and my T’s vaguely resembled having been dragged through the mud. Fail.
But don’t they look like purple Cindy-Loo-Who’s?
Unlike Epicurious, we roasted our beets first because I really dislike the way boiled beets taste (hey, maybe that’s the objection Britt has!) and we thought the roasty flavor might add a nice quality to the soup.
Once the beets were finished roasting (in a container with aluminum foil over it, at 350° for about an hour or until you can easily pierce them with a fork) we removed the skins by dropping the still-hot beets in an ice bath, then sautéed the onions, garlic, and ginger. We added the beets, stirred ’em around, then the vegetable broth and can of coconut milk and S&P. Then blended with an Immersion Blender.We left it to cook and thicken altogether for a bit, and then put it in the fridge to serve chilled later, although it’s very tasty served warm as well. I swirled some pomegranate molasses on the top (which kind of made the dish) and garnished with a peppery arugula leaf.
For our second course we had a flatbread – dough ala Evan – with tomato sauce (entirely CSA share and window garden tomatoes), share broccoli, share arugula, share peppers, (non-share) shallots and black olives, paired with a share romaine salad with (non-share) avocado, and peanut sauce. Share-iffic. I’d been referring to our flatbread as a vegan pizza, but Evan explained that it cannot be pizza without cheese. And so: flatbread.
Yummy meal; yummier company.
Evan later said to me: “Why did we make beet soup for Brittany? It seems a little cruel…” I had no acceptable answer for him, except to say that I’d wanted to try it, and she and Tyler were coming for dinner. My sincerest apologies for being an asshole.
But when asked, Brittany said, “I still hate beets… but look at my bowl.” (Empty.) Then she clarified: “It wasn’t beet forward.”