... whilst the fresh, new life of spring and the warm days of summer are all very well, I must admit that it's these crisp and cool days of autumn that I love the most... my blog-friend Jenn who writes the excellent Jenn's Food Journey mentions how the weather for them down in the Southern States is still in the low hundreds... can you imagine October in the low hundreds... it's just not right... bring on the strong Autumn sunshine, the golden leaves blowing in the wind, the fields ploughed and re-planted with next years crops and the smell of bonfires drifting through the village... a long country walk to the local pub where you're guaranteed a toasty open fire and a glass of warming whisky and ginger... i am in heaven...
... it's also the best season for clothes as I can wrap myself up layers of soft wool as I brace myself against the oncoming chill and not have to worry about my 'bikini body' for another full 6 months... and of course it's the best season for food... all the rich and warming stews... long slow roasts... earthy vegetables... pickling and jamming... dumplings... cakes for halloween... soups for bonfire night... dare I mention the joy of cooking for christmas...
commonly known as borscht this isn't quite the same thing... but most definitely has its roots firmly in one or two eastern european cupboards... i'm roasting the beetroots for added depth of flavour, you could just as easily boil them but I find they lose their earthy flavour... I totally forgot to weigh my beetroots whilst making this soup so I apologise in advance for the sketchy ingredients list...
roughly 5 mixed sized home grown beetroots - peeled and quartered
roughly the same weight in new potatoes - roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery - finely chopped
1 medium onion - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - crushed
1 and 1/2 pints good veg stock
2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme
4 tablespoons creme fraiche or soured cream
a few strands of chives
- place the beetroots in an oven-proof dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and lemon thyme and then roast on 170 for about 45 mins or until soft - you may need to cover the dish in foil after 30 mins
- meanwhile in a large soup pan, saute the onions and celery in butter and olive oil until translucent, then add the potatoes, stir around, reduce the heat and cover to sweat for 5 mins or so until soft
- once the beetroot is soft add them to the soup pan, stir and cover again to sweat for a further 5 mins
- add the stock and let it bubble away gently for about 20 mins
- liquidize until velvety and soft, add 3 tablespoons of creme fraiche and whizz again
- serve with another dollop of creme fraiche and some chopped chives
eat and of course, enjoy!