Orange Beet Soup
I should judge the difficulty of recipes on my ability to make them after a bike ride (yam and black bean stew, I’ve got my eyes on you!). To be honest, I don’t think any of my recipes are hard to make (heck, even I can make it!) but I know some can be lengthy, especially if dried beans are involved.
Last weekend, I cycled to Kitchener with a friend. We opted to take a shorter route home, cycling to the Aldershot GO Station in Burlington and training the rest of the way home. I cycled 209km that weekend, and with the shorter distance on Sunday, it meant I was home by 3:30pm and able to do some weekend chores.
Um, no. Utter fail.
I got as far as: a) blending myself a recovery smoothie with banana and maca; b) during the post-ride euphoria, calling Rob to tell him I arrived alive; c) taking a nice warm bath; d) throwing all my cycling clothes in the washing machine to get washed; e) making this soup; f) unexpectedly catching up with an old friend over the phone for an hour…. Giving my mom a well-deserved (brain-supported) phone call, unfortunately was not in the cards (=biggest failure).
Thank goodness I still had some delicious leftover raw pad thai for dinner that I picked up from Thrive Juice Bar in Waterloo (which travelled incredibly well over 80km on my bike!). (Their big green juice with maca was also exactly what I needed when I finally arrived in Waterloo).
Anyways, I had a few recipes on my week’s menu, but was only able to muster enough energy to make this Orange Beet Soup, adapted from The 30-Minute Vegan. I figured it would be a simple thing to throw together and should take under 30 minutes, right?
Obviously, in my post-cycle haze, my coordination (hand and mental) decrease. It took me more like 45 minutes and I didn’t even grate my vegetables by hand (thank you food processor!) plus another 15 minutes to clean (curse you food processor!) . I peeled my beets which took up a lot of time, and probably unnecessary in retrospect.
Also problematic: juicing my oranges. 1.5 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice. By me armed with my lemon squisher. 4 oranges later and many more minutes later, I had it all. Reinfeld may suggest 1-2 oranges, but that is impossible! Unless you get so much more juice with a juicer? Or pick an incredibly juicy one from a tree in Florida? Because I use all the pre-juicing tricks: microwave for 20 seconds, smash it and roll it around on the counter. And it took me just over 3 oranges.
Anyways, I will see if my kitchen speed increases if I were to make this at any other time.
Because this is a great soup and should get repeated. Like when I have a garden filled with beets (oh yes!).
Simple ingredients layer to create a nice, light, flavourful soup. Beet is at its core, but it is sweet from the layers of orange and carrots. The dill add another dimension with a nod to the Eastern European pairing of beet and dill, and the red miso creates that subtle complexity.
This soup is great warm and chilled. Chilled, it is a refreshing and bright starter and if I had a high-powered blender, this would make this the ultimate savoury summer drink (my immersion blender left a bit of pulp, which is fine for something labelled as soup).
After hanging up with my friend, it was 7pm, and I was positively pooped. I didn’t even photograph the soup. Yet. (It was photographed as leftovers the next day, which is also when my mom got the brain-active phone call she deserved!).
I cleaned up my kitchen and called it a night and fell asleep around 8pm, before the sun had even gone to bed.
Orange Beet Soup
5 cups water (or vegetable stock)
4 cups shredded beet (about 3 medium-size beets)
2 cups shredded carrot (about 2 medium-size carrots)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (omit if using stock)
2 teaspoons dried dill, or 2 tablespoons fresh
1 tablespoon miso paste (I used red but white is fine)
1/2–1 teaspoon orange zest (I used the zest from 1 orange)
1-1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 oranges)
maple syrup, to taste (I used small, sweet carrots from the farmer’s market so I didn’t feel like this needed any extra sweetener)
1. Start boiling the water and beets over medium heat in a large covered pot while you work on the other vegetables. Add the carrots, covering the pot in between. Add the salt, dill, and orange zest, cover the pot, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
2. Combine orange juice with miso and combine until smooth.
3. Remove from the heat, add the orange juice and miso mixture,and blend until smooth (use an immersion blender or blend in batches in a blender – if you have one of those high powered blenders, this would work well!).
4. Serve chilled or warmed up. Do not boil once the miso has been added.