Beautiful color and fantastic flavor, this one is a keeper!
|1⁄2 lb||red beets (scrubbed well, roots and greens trimmed)|
|1 1⁄2 t||butter|
|1 1⁄2 t||olive oil|
|1||leek (white and pale green parts only, chopped)|
|1||onion (small, thinly sliced)|
|1||celery stalk (chopped)|
|1⁄8 t||ginger (ground)|
|1⁄8 t||allspice (ground)|
|1⁄8 t||white pepper (ground)|
|1||bay leaf (small)|
|thyme (fresh, 1 sprig)|
|parsley (fresh, 1 sprig)|
|1⁄4 c||whipping cream|
|2 T||creme fraiche (or sour cream)|
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender enough to be pierced with a fork, about an hour. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Cut up a quarter of one beet into 1/4" cubes and set aside for garnish. Cut the remaining beets into 1/2" pieces.
Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the leek, onion, and celery. Cook until the vegetables begin to brown, stirring frequently, about 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the ginger, allspice, white pepper and the beets.
Cook over medium heat stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add 2 cups of water, bay leaf, thyme and parsley springs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, thyme and parsley sprigs. Let soup cool, then carefully puree, using either an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Add the cream as you puree, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary over low heat.
Spoon dollops of crème fraiche onto each serving, garnish with the set aside beets, and serve warm, with some love!