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Roasted beetroot soup with horseradish cream

Two fantastic roots take centre stage here: the sharp, hot tang of horseradish is the best foil Hugh knows to beetroot’s earthy sweetness. The resulting soup, though easy to make, is really very elegant.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Scrub the beetroot well but leave them whole. Place them in a roasting tin and scatter around the garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Trickle on the oil and season well with salt and pepper. Mix everything together with your hands so that it is well coated. Pour a wine glass of water into the tin and cover tightly with foil. Roast until the beetroot are tender when pierced with a knife – about an hour depending on the size of the beetroot.

While the beetroot are roasting, make the horseradish cream: in a bowl, mix the grated (or creamed) horseradish with the soured cream, crème fraîche or yoghurt.

Remove the foil from the roasting tin and leave the beetroot until they are cool enough to handle. Top and tail them and peel or rub off the skins – they should slip off easily. Roughly chop the beetroot.

Squeeze the soft garlic from the skins and place in a blender with the beetroot. Process with enough of the stock to make a smooth purée, then transfer to a saucepan and thin further with stock to get the texture you like.

Heat through, over a medium heat, till thoroughly hot but not boiling. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve the soup in warmed bowls with a dollop of the horseradish cream and the dill scattered on top.

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Ingredients

Serves 4–6

  • 1kg beetroot
  • 4 garlic cloves (unpeeled), bashed
  • 2–3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the horseradish sauce

  • 3–4cm piece of fresh horseradish, peeled and freshly grated (or 1 tablespoon creamed horseradish)
  • 200ml soured cream, crème fraîche or thick, plain (full-fat) yoghurt

To finish

  • Dill fronds

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Veg Every Day!