beetroot and orange soup

chilly weather always makes me think of soup. i try really hard not to fall back on soup when i have slightly past-it vegetables in my fridge as it rarely results in something worth eating, but sometimes it has to be done.

a bunch of slightly soft beetroots and a couple of oranges (the rest went in an orange and flower water version of this yoghurt cake) formed the basis of this soup.

it is exactly what it says  - beetroot and orange. if you’re not a fan of either don’t bother with it but if beetroot is on your list of loves, and you don't mind orange in savoury dishes, it’s worth a try in all its earthy citric glory.

beetroot and orange soup (serves 4)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

a few sprigs of thyme

zest and juice of 1 orange

500g raw beetroot, peeled and cut into small chunks

1 litre stock

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste

4 tablespoons soured cream or crème fraiche

heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, carrots and thyme. fry over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then, until softened. add the beetroot, stock, orange juice and zest. bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the beetroot is tender. remove the thyme and blitz the soup in a blender until smooth. add the vinegar and seasoning to taste.

reheat the soup and serve garnished with the soured cream and perhaps some extra orange zest.