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.