Wednesday, 21 August 2013

roasted beetroot and potato soup in homemade bread bowls

... it's a funny time of year... you kind of want it to stay summer forever but for me the lure of October has begun it's spooky, crunchy-leafed crawl up into my mind... I was out walking along by the river late on saturday and with the nights beginning to draw in I had such a 'by the fireside' sensation which normally would make me worried for the end of the summer but it actually thrilled me a little... I swear I could smell autumn... i'm almost more excited about the on-coming Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night than Christmas... I can finally get out of these shorts and out on some proper clothes...  Obviously all this thought of the change in the seasons effected the part of my brain that makes me crave certain foods so I rushed home to roast vegetables and fill the house the with the aroma of lovely things...

roasted beetroot and potato soup in homemade bread bowls
whenever we're in San Francisco we always visit the Fisherman's Wharf and even though it's a little tacky with its plethora of tourists shops, end of the pier attractions and over-priced boating excursions it still has an undeniable lure, particularly for the foodie with row after row of 'traditional' seaside fayre including the infamous clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl... the only issue with this of course is that The Viking cannot sit down with me to enjoy this fishy bowl of goodness and I just know that the idea of soup in a bowl you can eat is way up there on his 'best things in the world to eat' list...

for the soup
1 large bunch of raw beetroots (about 5) - cut into quarters
10 small potatoes - cut in half
1 medium onion - quartered
a selection of fresh herbs
olive oil and seasoning
2 pints good veg stock

for the bread bowls
400g strong white flour
1 teaspoon dried active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
300ml luke warm water
2 tablespoons of olive oil

start with the bread by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and then kneading for about 10 mins until soft, place the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rise for at least an hour or until doubled in size

one the dough is risen, knock it back on an oiled surface and divide the dough into 4 and shape into rounds, lay out on a baking sheet and cover again with cling film and set aside for 30 mins whilst you pre-heat the oven to 200C

Bake on 200C for 10 mins then turn down the oven to 170C for 25-30 mins, they will be ready when they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom - set aside on a wire rack to cool completely

to make the soup simply bung the veg and herbs into a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and seasoning and roast on 170C for about 30 mins until the veg are tender and beginning to turn golden

tip the roasted veg into a large pan, cover with stock and gently simmer for about 10 mins until the beetroot are tender, turn off the heat and let the soup cool a little before blending into a smooth soup.  You may wish to sieve it at this stage but it's not essential.

when you're ready to serve place the rolls back into a hot oven for about 5 mins to totally firm up the crusts then cut a lid off the top of the bowls, scoop out the bread and fill the bowls with soup

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. I loved Fisherman's Wharf when I visited San Francisco 13 years ago. I still have a giant stuffed parrot from there hanging in the children's bedroom! Your soup sounds divine and perfect for these colder evenings. Winter is very much in the air, especially here in Shetland. All the plants are dying down and I'm already thinking of Christmas ideas!

  2. I love beetroot (yes I'm not afraid to admit it) and I've even managed to grow some decent specimens this year. This is a lovely idea. You can look forward to autumn if you like but it's been a lovely summer day today and that will do for me for now. I think that must mean I'm getting old.

  3. We had the Fisherman's Wharf experience too, a few years ago. I forget what it was we ate, but I remember the surdough "bowls". Since I don't eat seafood, it wouldn't have involved clam chowder. Perhaps it was chilli. Your Beetroot and Potato offering would be more appealing for me.

  4. You seem to be all things red at the moment? How great is this that everything is edible even the bowl. I have used a similar idea with pumpkins and pumpkin soup. Yours looks so impressive though.

  5. Mmmmm! Soup in a bread bowl ... for me, cream of broccoli or seafood chowder ! Yes, please!

  6. I will have to agree with you on Halloween - I look forward to that way more than I do Christmas! Too bad living in the southwest desert, we don't get that same sort of fall weather everyone else does - but it's still better than the summer :)

    One of my favorite things to do in San Fran is go to the Wharf and get clam chowder too! It's so amazing!! Although this soup is definitely not that, it does sound interesting and I must say I LOVE the color!!

  7. Its stunning Dom and I love the edible bowl, but I have to be honest - hand on heart, not swayed with the beetroot and potato soup. Not that I don't like beetroot I do, just not in soup form - think it has to do with borsht. Looking forward to the autumn too - my favourite season

  8. What a great idea! Kind of counter-intuitive though. Love the colour on that soup...

  9. I immediately thought of the clam chowder on Pier 42 in San Francisco when I saw your photo, before I read the post! I always wondered whether the bread would go soggy, I might have to give this a go now!

  10. I am completely in love with this idea Dom. The soup is a gorgeous colour, but I love the idea of eating all that soup soaked bread at the end. Must, must, must try this sometime.

    Know what you mean about autumn - the leaves are starting to fall here and the dew is heavy in the mornings. As long as it is a "good" autumn, I don't mind.

  11. Aww you have bought back fond memories of going to somewhere in the depths of Devon and having tomato soup served in a bread roll when I was a child!

    And my Polish side is going mmm borscht!!


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