Monday, April 3, 2017

Ginger Beet Crème Soup

     A Tasty Soup For The Change Of Seasons!
     When cold winter weather first strikes or when warm spring weather first arrives, the body and mind can feel out of balance during the adjustment period.  When physical balance is out of kilter, allergens and bacteria become more of threat.  Fresh ginger improves immune system strength, circulatory efficiency and respiratory function.  The antioxidant effects of ginger act as a tonic that helps the body to regain balance during a change of seasons.
     Beets are loaded with minerals and vitamins that are essential for good health.  There are several beet varieties and colors.  I chose beets that stain a deep red color for today's soup, because bright colors are appealing during the spring season.  The best way to cook a beet is to roast the beet in an oven.  Boiling raw beets causes color and nutritional loss.  Roasting seals the color and flavor in the beet.
     I use the term Light Vegetable Stock (or Light Vegetable Broth) in many recipes.  Light Vegetable Stock is made with no tomato and no roasted vegetables that would turn the stock dark.  Light Vegetable Stock has a pale color, yet it is full of flavor. 
     Roasted Red Beet Preparation:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 portions of soup.
     Step 1:  Select 2 to 3 trimmed whole Red Beets that are about 2 1/2" in diameter.  (About 14 ounces after the beet green tops are removed.)
     Place the beets on a roasting pan.
     Roast the beets in a 325ºF oven till they are tender.
     Step 2:  Allow the beets to cool to room temperature.
     Use a towel to rub the skin off of the beets.
     Trim the top and bottom of the beet.
     Rinse the beet briefly under cold running water.
     Step 3:  Chop the beet into small pieces.
     Place the chopped roasted red beets in a container and set it aside.

     Ginger Beet Crème Soup:
     This recipe yields about 4 cups of soup.  (2 large portions)
     The idea is to not add too much milk and cream, so the red beet color of the soup is bright! 
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour while constantly stirring with a whisk to make a roux.  (The roux should be smooth and shiny, not caky.)
     Constantly stir till the roux is a pale golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 4 1/2 cups of light vegetable stock, while stirring with a whisk.
     Stir the soup occasionally as it comes to a gentle boil.
     *The soup will be a very thin consistency at this time.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced celery.
     Add 1 tablespoon of ginger paste.
     Add the reserved chopped roasted red beet.
     Return the soup to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 pinch of cardamom.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.  (2 to 3 pinches)
     Step 5:  Gently simmer the soup till the vegetables are soft and the volume is about 4 cups.
     Step 6:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Allow the soup to cool to a safe temperature.
     Use an emersion blender, food processor or blender to puree the soup.
     Step 7:  Pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer into a second sauce pot.
     Place the sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/3 cup of milk.
     Add 1/4 cup of cream.
     Bring the soup to a gentle boil while stirring occasionally.
     Step 8:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the volume is about 4 cups and the soup is a thin consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Keep the Ginger Beet Soup warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.
     Step 9:  Pour a 1 1/2 to 2 cup portion into an extra large soup cup (or shallow soup bowl).
     Place the soup cup on a doily lined serving plate.
     Garnish with a few very thin bias sliced green onion slivers.

     This is a simple delicious soup that is perfect for seasonal changes!

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