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You caught me multitasking!
This month the focus at Taste Of The Place is on Hungary, so I decided to combine my Hungarian adventures with my monthly Food Revolution challenge. And somehow these two endeavors came together to make a beet soup!
One of the challenges this month at the Food Revolution is to make a food that is scary somehow (in honor of Halloween, of course!) – in other words, a food or cooking technique that is intimidating.
For me, beets fit that category! Seriously! They are a scary food – you can’t do anything with them without getting red stains everywhere. I always wonder how people who eat a lot of beets don’t have permanently pink fingers.
(They try to look all innocent, don’t they? But their little hairy tops hint at something more sinister inside!)
(Then you cut into them, and bam! Red stains everywhere!)
So, I took to the internet to see if I could find a Hungarian recipe for beets, and discovered Hungarian beet soup – which is, not surprisingly, a lot like Russian beet soup, or borscht. But here is the interesting thing – I reached out to my Hungarian friend for a bit more information, and she says she’s never eaten beet soup! Apparently, at least in her experience, beet soup is not a Hungarian dish. My hunch is that the dish actually originates a bit more East than Hungary, and has just seeped over the boarder a bit. Who knows? That’s one of the joys of food – it gets every where and everyone makes it their own.
Add to the confusion that I (being a non-recipe-follower) didn’t really follow the recipes I found, and I’m not sure we can really call this Hungarian at all! Oh well! It was delicious!
So after all that, I present to you… Sort-Of-Hungarian Beet Soup! 😉
- I started off by wrapping about 1 pound of beets in foil, then roasting them in the oven at 425 until they were just fork tender – about 45 minutes. The next time I make this, I won’t bother roasting them – I don’t think it actually added any roast-y flavor to the finished soup.
- When they were done roasting, I rubbed off the skin (And yes – my fingers turned pink! I knew my fears were justified! 😉 ), and gave them a rough chop. Alternately, you can just peel the raw beets, and chop them up.
- While the beets were roasting away, I finely chopped 2 sticks of celery, and one medium onion, and put them in a soup pot over medium low heat, along with a glug of olive oil and a heavy pinch of salt to slowly soften for about 15 minutes.
- When the celery and onions were soft and translucent, I added in the chopped beets, and enough water to cover. I brought it up to a boil, then let it simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, so all the flavors had a chance to mingle. If you don’t roast your beets first, you will want to simmer until the beets are tender.
- After everything had simmered for awhile, I whizzed most of the soup with a blender, leaving a few chunks behind for texture. I thought the soup was a little thick at this point, so I added more water to reach the consistency that seemed to say “beet soup” to me.
- Finally, I stirred in about 1/2 cup sour cream, a teaspoon of white vinegar, and made sure it had enough salt (when you make this, add the sour cream and vinegar to your taste. Start with just a little bit, then add more if you need it), then returned it to the stove for just long enough to make sure it was still hot enough for serving.
The final product! I served mine up with a drizzle of sour cream that had been loosened to drizzling consistency with a bit of milk, then dusted it all with dill.
Not so scary anymore. In fact, it was quite delicious – I will probably even make it again! And look at that color – the scary red turned into a gorgeous shade of fuchsia! Stunning!
Now I want to challenge you! What foods scare you? Try one this week, and let me know how it goes! 😀