Man, do I love soup. Like, a ridiculous fondness for soup. I treat it as some sort of magic elixir, because it’s full of herbs and vegetables and salt (yes, salt is magical). I’m a raving hippy trapped in a suburban location and soup sings out to the Earth-healing streak in me.
I think of soup as full of lush, green, natural things, like peas and beans and herbs and lentils and spinach and leeks. All nutritious and delicious and simmered together into a glorious smoosh of flavour. Also carrots, which are loosely classed as green in my head because they’re tasty and healthy as well. When I’m under the weather, my thoughts turn to soup. When it’s autumnal or rainy, my thoughts turn to soup. The fact that both have taken place lately makes soup-making a dead cert.
Today’s lush, green, natural soup is, well, not green. It’s pink. It’s full of beetroot! Huzzah.
I love beetroots. Shamelessly addicted to them, I’ll eat them straight from the can if you let me. We grew up eating the tinned, sliced stuff on sandwiches, from which it would effortlessly slither onto one’s shirt (or the tablecloth) and permanently stain. It was also required for the Standard Australian Barbecue salad (iceberg lettuce, tinned beetroot, tomato, tasty cheese, tinned pineapple, tinned corn kernels if you were feeling a bit avant-garde). In fact, as a kid, my favourite sandwich was beetroot and cheese. I still get sentimental cravings for them, although now I prefer crusty sourdough bread to Tip Top, roast fresh beets drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over tinned slices, and feta over Kraft Singles. But, as I said above, I’ll eat tinned beets straight from the can, especially the baby ones. Love ‘em.
Aren’t they beautiful? They’re so humble and rustic to look at, and then as soon as you slice them, they just glow with red-pink jewel tones. They’re so pretty. Pushing all such reverence aside, I then chop the crap out of them and boil them for a few hours, with cabbage and potato and carrot and onion and herbs, until everything’s really soft; then purée and serve. Add salt if needed (and it probably will be). Mmmmmm. I’m going to have a big bowl for lunch. With toast. And a pickle. Jealous yet? You should be.