Puréed Beet-Horseradish Soup

This is a perfect autumn soup. The intense color and the simple, earthy flavor of this soup made us feel all happy inside.

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What we put in the soup:

  • about 10 smallish potatoes
  • about 8 smallish beets
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons horseradish paste (or freshly grated horseradish, maybe a little bit less)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 dl (or about half a cup) oat cream (or some other vegetarian option)
  • about 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

First, we peeled our beets, and cut them in cubes. Smaller the cubes, shorter the cooking time. Then we brushed the potatoes, since we were lucky enough to have newly picked ones – there is no need to peel their thin skin off. If your potatoes are a little bit older and have thicker skins, you will need to peel them too.

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Then we cut the potatoes into slightly bigger cubes than the beets. (You can also slice the beets and potatoes, beets a little bit thinner. The shape doesn’t really matter, since they will be mashed eventually anyway.) Potatoes cook quicker than beets, and this way you can add them in the soup at the same time.

After cubing the root veggies, we cut the onion and the garlic in small cubes. First, we sautéed the onion in olive oil in our cooking pan. After a few minutes, when the onion was translucent, we added garlic, and sautéed it slightly. Then we added the cubed potatoes and beets, and sautéed them for a short while, maybe a couple of minutes, to add flavor.

After all the sautéeing, we poured in enough water to cover the veggies, and added the cubed stock, sugar, black pepper, and salt. To save energy, we boiled the water in electric kettle first. And because we were hungry cooks, we were happy to reduce the cooking time by some ten minutes this way.

Then we just had to wait until the beets were tender. Depending on the size in which you cut them, cooking time should be more or less half an hour.

When the beets were tender, we removed the soup from heat. Now we added vegetarian cream and horseradish. If cooked, the cream might separate in nasty crumbs, and we didn’t want to risk that. Cooking horseradish will also reduce its nice spiciness.

Now we just puréed our soup with a hand held mixer. When the soup was velvety and completely smooth, we admired it for a while, and then adjusted the taste. We added some more salt, black pepper, and horseradish, until the balance was perfect.

Accompanying our soup, we had organic sour rye-bread. If you don’t happen to live in Finland, this can be hard to come by, in which case you can serve your soup with or without any other type of dark bread just as well.

The key to this soup is a perfect balance between the three roots; beets are nice and sweet, horseradish is hot and spicy, and potatoes add a smooth texture. If you’d like to fancy up your soup, you could mix some horseradish, salt and sugar in thick natural soy yoghurt, add a spoonful of this on top of each bowl of soup, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. We were too hungry to do that!

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