Pretty in Pink

From Food

As mentioned in my last beet post, I've found a way to cook beets that is truly delicious.

My Polish friend, Magda, loves beets. How could someone love a vegetable that I'm so "iffy" about? I must know the secret. "Vinegar," she says. She goes off listing beet dish after beet dish that she loves, all with a common thread: "... with some balsamic vinegar" "... with a little red wine vinegar," ".. pour a little bit of pickle juice in it; not the dill pickle kind, the salt brine kind..." A little tart to compliment the beet. Genius.

She raved about a soup that her dad makes. I told her about my attempt at a beet soup that did not turn out so well. I eventually got to taste some of the soup and I could not believe how incredibly different it tasted! Delicious! I just had to replicate it. "My dad doesn't really use a recipe..." she admitted. Why was I not surprised?

Since I was used to being in this predicament (my mother only keeps recipes for baking) I was confident that I'd get along just fine. Just taste your food every so often and adjust for flavour.

I started with a recipe from Lucy Waverman's book "A Year in Lucy's Kitchen" and went from there. The biggest difference is that I did not puree the soup. This soup was essentially a beet broth, full of flavour and colour. If you feel bad about tossing the strained beets, you can use them in a salad, or as garnish. Beets still win the "prettiest vegetable" award.

From Food
1 1/2 lb beets (I used any and every colour)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup sliced onions
6 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper

Wash and peel the beets; slice as thin as possible.

Add olive oil to a large pot and heat to medium high; add onions and lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add sliced beets and chicken stock. Bring to at boil over high heat; reduce and let simmer 20 minutes or longer, until vegetables are tender. Add both vinegars. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more vinegar if desired.

Set a colander over a large bowl; pour soup into colander, straining all beets and onions. Serve warm.

From Food

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