Beets are roasted and then seasoned with onion and thyme before being purred with vegetable stock. Dill croutons make a creative use of old crusty bread and the grassy herb as well as a healthy drizzle of Greek yogurt completes this refreshing soup. This recipe comes to us from culinary entertainer Laura Lafata of La Diva Cucina.
For the chilled beet soup:
- 4 medium red beets, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 medium white onion, quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, to season the beets
- 1 liter low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
For the dill croutons:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ day old baguette, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 sprigs fresh dill, minced
- 1 tablespoons butter
- a little salt, to taste
For the yogurt swirl:
- ½ cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
- a dash of salt
To make the chilled beet soup:
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees.
Toss the beets and onion quarters in the olive oil and spread them out evenly on a baking sheet, taking care not to crowd them. Season generously with salt and roast for about 10 minutes, or until the beets brown on the bottom. Flip the beets over with a spatula and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the beets are tender when punctured with a fork.
While the beets are cooking, heat the vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaf in a stock pot over medium-high heat. When the stock begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and add the roasted beets and onion.
Turn the heat back up to high and bring the stock mixture to a boil. When stock boils, turn heat back down to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Take the soup off the stove and allow it to cool until just warm.
When the soup has cooled, remove the bay leaf and puree and with an immersion blender. Push the soup through a small mesh strainer or chinois into a large bowl to create a smooth texture*.
Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To make the dill croutons:
Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the stale bread cubes and cook evenly on all sides for 2-3 minutes each, or until browned.
Melt the butter in small pan over medium heat. Add the fresh dill and remove the pan from heat.
Toss the browned bread cubes to large bowl and with the dill butter until croutons are thoroughly coated. Season with salt to taste.
To make the yogurt swirl:
In a small bowl, season the yogurt with a dash of salt. Stir the yogurt briskly with a spoon to thin it a bit.
To complete the chilled beet soup with dill croutons:
Ladle the chilled soup into bowls and spoon a swirl of yogurt across the soup’s surface. Top with dill croutons and enjoy.