RED VELVET SOUP
NEW 12 Best Foods Cookbook - by Dana Jacobi
This colorful, Moosewood-inspired soup gets its elusive flavor from a combination of beans, tomatoes, and beets. Cooking the beets is messy, but worth it.
Makes 4 servings
• 1 medium beet, peeled and diced
• 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup plain yogurt or law-fat sour cream, optional, for garnish
• 2 tablespoons snipped chives, optional, for garnish (about 1 cup)
• 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1/2 Spanish onion, chopped
• 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1. In a medium saucepan, boil the beet in 4 cups cold water for 30 minutes. Add the beans and cook until the beets and beans are very soft, 20 minutes. Set them aside.
2. In a small Dutch oven or a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until soft, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and red-pepper flakes. Cook until the onion is very soft, 15 minutes.
3. Drain the beets and beans in a colander set over a bowl to reserve their liquid. Add the beets and beans to the tomato mixture. Remove the pot from the heat and cool 10 minutes.
4. Puree the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender in the pot. If the soup is too thick, add some of the reserved beet liquid. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Divide it among 4 bowls and serve hot, garnished with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, plus snipped chives, if desired.
NOTE: For Neater Beets: Cover your work surface with waxed paper when chopping beets to avoid staining it. Wash your hands after peeling each beet and again after chopping them to keep stained fingers to a minimum.