Monday, January 9, 2012

Beet Soup with Cumin

This recipe is based on "Beetroot soup with black cumin" from Sam and Sam Clark's, Moro:The Cookbook. I used regular cumin because I could not find any black (the cookbook advises, "this is a rare variety of cumin that has more of an aromatic nutty flavor than normal cumin; the seeds are finer and more curled in shape. It is usually found in Indian/Bengali shops under the name of 'kala jeerd'"*) I followed the recipe and finely diced the beets and potatoes, but I think this was unnecessarily time consuming. Next time I am going to cut the veggies in medium chunks and cook a bit longer than if diced.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat

4 T olive oil


1/2 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced [I used 155 g/`5.5 oz]

And cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion turns golden.

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 rounded teaspoon black cumin or normal cumin seeds**

Cook for two more minutes then add:
750g [26.4 oz] raw beetroot, peeled and finely diced [I would chop in medium chunks - wear gloves!]
1 large potato, finely diced [I used 260g/~9oz - I would chop in medium chunks]

Pour in 1.25 liters of cold water bring to a gentle simmer and cook until soft, about 15 minutes [or longer if vegetables are cut in bigger chunks]. Place the vegetables and the cooking liquid in batches in a food processor*** and blend until smooth. Return to the pan and add:

3 T good-quality red wine vinegar
Half of a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped [I used 5 T curly parsley medium-fine chop]
Salt and pepper to taste

Place in bowls and top with

100g [3.5 oz - I used 6 oz] Greek yoghurt, thinned with a little milk [I used Stoneyfield Farm non-fat yogurt and did not thin] seasoned with 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste and salt

Chopped parsley
An extra drizzle of olive oil

* Moro:The Cookbook , page 72

** I could not figure out if this meant 1 rounded table teaspoon or 1 rounded measuring t spoon. I assumed the latter since I figured it would be difficult to level these seeds. I find it a bit frustrating that in many cases, in this recipe and others, the authors are so precise on one hand (760g of beets) and vague on the other (one large potato, a small bunch of parsley).

*** April 2013: Just made this with an immersion blender (see Cool Tools 3). Wow! The prep time is shorter and the clean-up much easier. A good spring/summer option is to serve cold garnished with yogurt/parsley/orange zest.

Reviewed 7/9/2017

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