Because I work in a place with a garden, I sometimes score some lovely produce…..like beets.
Great, big, red, big, really large beets.I know that beets aren’t for everyone, and that means…more beets for me!
Beets will keep for quite a while, especially the big ones, especially in the back of the fridge. Although, being these were very large big beets – I’m talking nothing smaller then a pound, most around 2 – pounds, that is – and several checking in at 3 – they were hard to forget and get lost in the back of the dark cold place. I’ve been pulling out the smaller ones, one by one throughout December, but a nice beet soup was defiantly in my future. I’ve long been intrigued by borscht and other sorts of beety soups, maybe since Moosewood Cookbook, which has a vegetarian borscht, variation of which I’ve made in the past.
new year, new recipes and when Bon Appetit had not only a Get Healthy headline and a recipe for Beet Caraway Soup,
I had to think, Why don’t I pick up Bon Appetit more often? and Beets AND Big Batch Cooking, I’m soooo in !
To get to the Get Healthy part of the story (with the menus and the shopping list and the pantry list), you have to go to the Bon Appetit website, which 1) isn’t the magazine and 2) has lots of moving parts and is an exercise in (I accidentally wrote ‘stupidity’ instead of ‘futility’, but stupidity isn’t completely wrong) exasperation , because there are links within links and for heaven’s sake, YOU ARE A MAGAZINE, PUT IT ON PAPER. LAYOUT IS IMPORTANT AND POPUPS ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL.
I went back more then once, on different days and I may never go back there again, which is a pity because beneath the flash and dazzle jumpiness, which may pass as edgy, but comes off as far to much caffeine, there a a really good recipe data base. Just not for me.
And the Big Batch stuff serves four. FOUR. That’s right, 4. I may not be good with numbers, but 4 is a batch, no big. For Big it should be 6-8 ; a Crowd should serve 8-12, all of which are smaller numbers then what show in my mother’s church cookbook from 1968.
Now I’m remembering why I don’t pick up BA as often as I used to……because we live in very different worlds.
BUT…. to steam-roast a big batch of beets…first, I made the batch bigger.
BIG BATCH STEAM ROASTED BEETS
4-6 pounds beets
2 Tbl olive oil
1 sprig rosemary or several sprigs fresh thyme or 2 bay leaves
1/4 cup water
- If the beets are very large (over 1 #) or uneven sizes, peel and cut to make them the same size.If you have a bunch and they’re pretty uniform, wash and trim the tops and tails and you can peel them after. If you have large ones, peel them now. The red will wash off your hands, I promise.
- Put them in a large heavy bottom pot/Dutch oven.
- Add the oil and toss all around.
- Salt and pepper.
- Put in the herbs and the water.
- Cover tightly.
- At this point you can put it in a 425° oven OR
- Put it on the stove top on high.
- Stir every now and again.You want the roasty/searing thing, not burning – adjust accordingly.
- Beets are done when a knife pierces easily – 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the beets and their age (and whether or not it was a dry or wet season when they were growing).
- Cool. They’ll keep at least 3 days in a covered container in the fridge. They can be used as is in salads, or in smoothies or soups.
adapted from Bon Appetit January 2015
Now for the soup.
BEET SOUP with caraway
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 medium onion
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 # cooked beets
2 cups buttermilk, more for serving
cracked pepper (for serving)
- Chop the onion and slice the leek.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add caraway seeds and cook, stirring, until they start to pop and dance around in the pan, about 1 minute.
- Add onion, leek, and a little water to keep seeds from burning; season with salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 5–7 minutes.
- Add beets and 4 cups water to pan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15–20 minutes.everything should be pretty soft.
- Let mixture cool slightly, then purée in a blender in 2 batches, adding 1 cup buttermilk to each batch. Gently heat soup, adding water to adjust consistency if needed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
- Serve drizzled with buttermilk and more cracked pepper.
adapted from Bon Appetit Jan 2015