Beetroots have been around since the Romans who enjoyed their earthy charm. The root and leaves have been eaten for centuries. They also had a moment of glory when it was discovered that beetroots could be converted to sugar but these days these brightly coloured vegetables are known more for the fact that they’re packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The colour of the beetroot that makes everything that it touches turn some shade of pink/red/purple seems to perk people up. Antioxidants or not their colour certainly cheers things up on a rainy day
To celebrate Samhain and Halloween I‘ve made this this sensational Vampire soup with optional eyeballs. The soup is in fact a sophisticated marriage of beetroot and fennel, gently cooked into sweet submission and adorned with crème fraiche, but with a little imagination and a few peas, it transforms into a ghoulish delight.
The Vampire title may entice your children to try this stunning soup and the optional eyeballs are easily achieved by posting a pea on top of a little spoonful of crème fraiche and setting it afloat.
It could be just the thing for Halloween
You could even organise an eyeball eating contest.
Here’s the recipe
It’s very easy to make, It doesn’t matter too much the size of the beetroots that you use, it’s more important that they are fresh so don’t use ones that are pre cooked and vacuum packed.
Choose about three big or six small beetroots
75mls olive oil
1-2 stems celery
800mls vegetable stock
A squeeze of lemon juice
Peel and chop the onion
Heat a saucepan, add the olive oil and onion then cook on a medium heat.
Chop the celery into four lengthwise then dice small and stir in with the onion.
Trim the fennel then cut into half and chop finely.
Stir in with the onion and celery, season with a little salt. Keep the vegetables gently humming away in the pan. Turn the heat up and down until you’re happy the gentle sizzle is not burning. Peel and dice the beetroots and potato small, add to the pan and stir into to combine, leave to cook for another 10 minutes with the occasional stir. Season with salt. Add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then cook at a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Blitz until smooth, add a squeeze of lemon juice, taste, then adjust the seasoning.
Serve with a swirl of creme fraiche