Over the years I've realised that some vegetables grow really well in my garden, and others, not so much. I'm not sure why, perhaps it's the soil, the amount of sunlight, the axis of the moon, or maybe a combination of a lot of things. Brassicas, garlic, rhubarb and kale all seem to thrive, but I've never managed to grow carrots very well. And English spinach, whether seed or seedling, it doesn't like it here at all. Despite many attempts, year after year. Which is a shame because it's a favourite.
Now beetroot, thankfully is on the winning side. That I can grow. Which is a good thing because it's also one of my favourite vegetables. This time of year we have a great crop growing and the green tops take over where spinach fails and the roots are roasted and turned into salads or a spicy dip.
But I reckon the best way to eat them is this roasted beetroot soup. This is a super easy recipe, eaten hot unlike it's Eastern European cousin borscht. We serve this with a perfectly soft boiled egg, a fair dollop of yoghurt or sometimes crumbled goats cheese. Then finished with some snipped chives from the garden. I would use dill but sadly, that's on the "does not grow well" list too.
Roasted Beetroot Soup
5 or 6 whole beetroot
1 or 2 onions or leeks diced
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 litre or so of vegetable stock or water
Apple cider vinegar to taste
4 soft boiled eggs, peeled
chives or dill or both
yoghurt or creme fraiche
Wash the beets and leaving them whole, place in a baking dish then drizzle them with olive oil and salt. Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast in 180 degree oven until tender. (You could do this when you're using the oven to cook something else, then store the beets in the fridge until you're ready to make soup)
When tender, allow to cool then rub off beet skins with your fingers. (You might like to use gloves because the beets do stain your fingers.) Dice beets then set aside.
Meanwhile in a saucepan big enough for soup, melt a generous knob of butter over a medium heat and sautee onion for a few minutes until soft then add garlic stir through. Toss in the beets then add the stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Then remove from heat and blend until super smooth with a stick blender. Taste for seasoning, adding a little splash of vinegar and salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls, break a boiled egg in half and add to the bowl, and a generous dollop of yoghurt and then the herbs.
I thought I might start sharing a few recipes based on what's growing in the garden. What we're eating right now. This is the first one.