Beetroot and fennel soup with ginger crème fraîche

By Thomasina Miers

Beetroot & Fennel Seed Soup with Ginger Creme Fraiche

Why I love this soup

"I'll never forget a dinner we had for a huge gaggle of our Wahaca staff at Hartwood, a smart beach-side restaurant in Tulum Mexico. They served giant whole beets they'd roasted in their wood-fired oven, sitting on beautifully seasoned labneh; our team couldn't believe how good they were. This soup is my take on borscht, with fennel seeds and chilli adding wonderful accents of flavour."

Serves 4-6 people


For the soup:

  • 6 medium beetroots
  • 3-4 floury potatoes (about 500g)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • a few pinches of chilli flakes
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.4 litres chicken, beef or vegetable stock

For the crème fraîche

  • large thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 250ml creme fraiche
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lime


  • Top and tail the beetroot, rinse the top stalks and any leaves in cold water, roughly chop and set aside.
  • Scrub the beets and potatoes clean with a coarse scourer and roughly dice the beets.
  • Peel the potatoes and dice into the same size as the beets.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat and add the onions, fennel seeds and chilli.
  • Sweat for about 8 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the garlic and vegetables.
  • Cook the vegetables in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring them to coat in the spices.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper, pour in the stock to cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. 
  • When the vegetables are completely soft, blitz with a stick blender.
  • Grate the ginger into the crème fraîche. Add the lime zest and juice and a pinch of salt to season.
  • Just before serving, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and saute the beet tops for a few minutes until soft and hot. Season with a pinch of salt.
  • Serve the soup in warmed bowls with a dollop of the creme fraiche and a sprinkling of the tops. 


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