- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 T garlic, finely chopped
- 250 g celery, chopped
- 2 kg whole beetroot, trimmed, peeled and chopped into 5 cm chunks
- 1½ t cumin seeds, toasted
- 1½ t dried chilli flakes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 250 g crème fraîche
- For the spiced yoghurt:
- 1 t cumin seeds, toasted
- 1 t coriander seeds, toasted
- ½ t smoked paprika
- ¾ cup double-cream plain yoghurt
- 1 T olive oil
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion, garlic and celery and simmer for 15 minutes over a medium heat, stirring.
2. Add the beetroot, cumin seeds, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring continually.
3. Add the vegetable stock and cook until the beetroot has softened enough to be easily pierced with a fork. This could take 2–3 hours over a low to medium heat. Keep an eye on the pot and stir occasionally. You may need to cook it longer and add more water if necessary.
4. Once the beetroot is soft, remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before blitzing it with a handheld blender until smooth but still quite thick. Stir in the crème fraîche and blitz again. The beetroot soup will transform into a gorgeous hot pink colour.
5. To make the spiced yoghurt, dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds over a medium heat until fragrant. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind with the paprika until fine. Add the spices and olive oil to the yoghurt and mix well.
6. Serve the soup with a dollop of spiced yoghurt.