This seasons recipe is brought to you by Kip Bergstrom, The Perishable Cook.
Kip spent a week at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland. The school is located on a 100 acre organic farm and helped to launch the farm-to-table movement in Ireland and Europe. This soup is one that Kip learned to make while studying at the Cookery. The cooking method shared below produces a beet soup of extraordinary color.
From the end of June through the end of October, Kip shops at the Old Saybrook Farmers Market once or twice a week. He doesn’t go to the market looking for ingredients for dishes he has decided in advance to cook. He does it the other way around. He buys what looks good at the market, then figures out what to make from it. It’s a really fun way to cook and to eat. Every week is a new adventure, which he shares on his blog and in cooking demos at the market.
Ballymaloe Beet Soup
- 2 lbs fresh beets
- 8 oz chopped onions
- 2 az (1/2 stick) salted butter
- salt, pepper and sugar
- approx 5 cups of light chicken stock
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 1 1/4 cup natural, unsweetened yogurt
- 5 tbsp of chopped chives (and chive flowers if available
- Wash the beets under cold running water with your hands, being careful not to break the skin. Leave a little tail on them and about 2 inches of stem intact so as not to allow the beets to bleed.
- Place the beets into a saucepan that they fit snugly into and cover with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and sugar.
- Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until the beets are cooked. The cooking time depends on the size and they can take anywhere from 20 minutes for tiny beets, to two hours for larger ones. The beets are cooked when the skin rubs off easily. Don’t use a knife to test if they are cooked, this will cause the beets to bleed.
- While the beets are cooking, melt the butter and allow to foam. Add the onions to the butter and coat, sweat very gently until soft, tender, and translucent.
- When the beets are cooked, peel, chop coarsely and add to the onions.
- Add just enough boiling chicken stock to cover and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for one minute.
- Puree to achieve a smooth and silky consistency. Allow to cool completely. Add yogurt and a little cream. Check seasoning, adding a little sugar if necessary.
- Serve chilled with a swirl of yogurt and lots of chopped chives, garnish with chive flowers if available.