This soup is a great way to use up your beet greens. They add an extra layer of flavor, but their taste is hidden enough that even people who don’t like the greens will like it. It’s a very versatile soup: it can be served hot or cold, you can add other vegetables (such as fennel, carrot, etc.), and you can add spices (such as ground cumin or fennel seed) or herbs (chives, dill, etc.). Garnish the soup with sour cream, sheep cheese, herbs, beet green pesto, or anything you can think of!
Makes about 6 cups
2-3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 large beets, peeled and cut into ½” dice (about 4 cups) (Sweet Leaf Farm)
1 quart water or stock
3 cups chopped beet greens
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Willapa White sheep’s cheese to garnish (Willapa Hills Farmstead)
Herbs to garnish (Gales Meadow Farm)
1. In a large soup pot (at least 4 quarts), heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and a sprinkle of salt. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and sweat the onions until they are soft and sweet (do not let them brown).
2. Add the diced beets and the water or stock to the pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the beets are tender (45 – 50 mins). Add the chopped beet greens, and let them cook for another 5 minutes. (If you are making this in the fall and the greens are a little heartier, you can cook them for a few extra minutes.)
3. Let the soup cool, and then puree in batches. For each batch that you puree, get the consistency of soup that you want by adding more solids (beets and greens) or more liquid. Make sure each batch is seasoned to taste. If you want to add ground spices, this is the time to do it.
Put the pureed soup back in the pot and re-warm over low heat (if you’re serving the soup warm). Pour into soup bowls, add garnish, and serve! The soup keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days and can also be frozen.