I have some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for, and about a week ago we all decided we wanted to get together and have me cook for every one again (you might remember the homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese posting). In the past, we’ve done this a lot in pairs, where I’ll cook with one friend or another, but never as a big group of all of us and never at my small apartment, so this was pretty exciting for me!
The second we finalized the plans, I had all my cookbooks out scouring through them for inspiration. I knew I wanted to have at least 3 courses, preferably a soup to start, something comforting and hearty for the main course, and something warm and gooey for dessert. As I was flipping through the New England Soup Factory Cookbook by Marjorie Drunker and Clara Silverstein in the Summer Soothers section (keep in mind, it’s been pretty hot here in Nashville!) I ran across the Chilled Beet and Raspberry Soup recipe. I thought to myself, “Donielle, this will be a huge risk, cold soup and a very unlikely flavorscape, etc. Are you sure you’re up for possible humiliation in front of all your closest friends?” After going back-and-forth a few times I decided to take the risk, and I’m so glad that I did! I do think this soup was good chilled especially for the spring and summer, but I also think it would be even better warm in the winter!
I chose this soup primarily based on the color in the picture (the one above is from my own camera)…after having made this soup I can now tell you without a shadow of a doubt that pictures do not even come close to doing the color of this soup justice. Think BRIGHT MAGENTA! It is without a doubt the prettiest soup I’ve ever made or even eaten! So the cookbook had it right when they said “I think it’s a toss-up whether the flavor or the color is more appealing”. If you want a stunner of a soup for your dinner guests, take a risk and go with this one!
Let’s get to the recipe!
What you’ll need:
2 pounds beets
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped spanish onions
2 ribs celery, diced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 pint fresh raspberries
2 cups light whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (the recipe calls for raspberry vinegar but I couldn’t find any)
Kosher Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1. Wash and trim the stems from the beets. Place in a 4-quart pot. Add 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and place under cold running water. Peel off the skins and cut into large chunks. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, celery, and beets. Saute for 5 to7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from the stove and add the raspberries. Puree the soup in the pot using a hand blender or working in batches with a regular blender until smooth. Strain through a sieve or fine mesh strainer to remove any raspberry seeds. Add the cream, dill, vinegar, salt and pepper. Puree once more until thoroughly blended. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving (I actually prepared mine a day in advance, as with all soups the flavors marry better the longer you let them).
(Side note: I garnished these each with a dot of cream and with a skewer moving in a back and forth motion across the cream I made the design. Then I topped it with a tiny bit of fresh dill and raspberry! Easy and beautiful!)
Tomorrow I plan on posting the recipe for the Spinach Salad with Roasted Red Onion Vinaigrette I made as the partner in crime! Be looking for it!
Alright y’all! GO EAT SOMETHING!