3 cups beets, peeled. I prefer to peel them before cooking, but you can peel afterwards. Peel over the sink, conscious that beets exude a liquid that can stain.
2 cups cleaned leeks, or onions. I prefer leeks.
Beet greens and stems that came with the beets. Be sure to wash them carefully, as they can be sandy.
1/8 to 1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled, depending how much you like garlic.
1/2 cup sherry or white wine, optional
1/2 cup olive oil
- Peel the beets.
- Sauté leeks or onions in 1/8 cup olive oil over medium heat for 20 minutes, until soft and tender. They should not brown.
- Add in the beet greens and stems and sauté further
- Meanwhile, microwave the beets, with optional sherry or wine, until tender. The time depends on your microwave, but should be 10-20 minutes. You can optionally add bay leaves and thyme while microwaving.
- Remove bay leaves and thyme. Allow the beets to cool somewhat.
- Put beets, beet greens and stems, and leeks or onions, and 1/2 cup olive oil in a powerful blender such as a VitaMix. (Be aware that blending hot things can cause splattering, so allow some cooling first.) Puree until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serving and garnishes
- You can serve as is, as an intense soup.
- Or, you can thin with not more than 1 cup of good chicken or vegetable stock, or water.
- Garnish with
- A disk of goat cheese
- A scoop of ricotta cheese
- Some sour cream is traditional
- A sprinkle of toasted pistachios, pecans, or walnuts. Pistachios look and taste particularly fabulous.
- Drizzle with good olive oil
- If the queen is coming to dinner, I’d serve the soup with ricotta, pistachios, and a drizzle of the best olive oil.