Overloading the Machine



Based on the Boston Globe Magazine, 2005 September 25

Serves 8.

  • 9 large beets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes (with their juices) crushed in a bowl
  • Juice of 1 lemon or more, to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to taste

Scrub the beets under cold water. Cut off the greens, leaving 2 inches of the stem and 1 inch of the pointy root intact.

In a large saucepan, cover the beets with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are almost tender when pierced with a skewer. Transfer the beets to a bowl and set them aside to cool. Set aside 4 cups of the beet cooking liquid.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil. Cook the onion, carrots, and plenty of salt and pepper over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, water, tomatoes, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup of the sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 hours, skimming the surface several times.

When the beets are cool, stem, peel, and dice them. Add them to the soup after the first 1 1/2 hours of cooking, along with the beet liquid. Return to a boil, lower the heat, and continue simmering for 1 hour.. (Total cooking time is 2 1/2 hours.) Serve at once.

Notes: I haven't made this yet. The original recipe called for some meat, which I removed. The meat was added after the first 10 minutes of cooking the veggies. I'm not sure the soup needs any kind of meatishness, but maybe some seitan cut into 3-inch pieces would do. The recipe originally called for 3 LBS meat. 3 LBS of seitan seems like a lot, but I guess that's what I'll try the first time.

This page was last modified on 2011 December 20.