SOUP) - serves 4
3 medium beetroot, trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil plus extra for roasting the beets
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 medium potato, diced
1 large carrot, grated (reserve a little for the garnish)
750ml beef stock
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
sour cream or plain yoghurt to garnish
salt and black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
Rub the beets and thyme sprigs all over with olive oil and roast in the middle
of the oven for about 90 minutes or until the beets are soft when pierced with
a sharp knife. Allow the beeets to cool, then peel and cube.
In a large saucepan, heat
the olive oil, then add the onion, celery, potato and carrot and sauté for 4-5
minutes until they begin to soften, then
add the beet cubes, reserving a few for garnish. Add the stock and allow to
simmer for 45 mins, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables have
softened and the potato cubes can be crushed with a fork.
Remove the saucepan from
the heat. If it is too thick,
add a little more stock or hot water. Return to the heat and add the vinegar
and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the reserved cubes of beetroot
and heat through. Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top
each with a generous spoon of sour cream/yohgurt and a sprinkling of grated
carrot. Serve immediately with crusty bread.