February 19, 2013

Beet & Potato Soup

Beet & Potato Soup

I hope that those of you who had the day off yesterday enjoyed your long weekend!  Yesterday was a holiday for many of us here in Ontario - we don’t celebrate President’s Day (obviously, as we don’t have presidents in Canada), but we do celebrate Family Day on the third Monday of every February. 

I love the idea of a holiday that celebrates the family and encourages families to spend time together.  This was actually the first year that every member of my family had the day off and could get together, so we took the opportunity to go for a wintery family walk along a trail around a frozen pond.  Even though I think I risked my life a thousand times because the trail was pretty much all ice and my boots do not seem to have even the slightest bit of traction, it was still a great way to get outdoors and spend some time with my wonderful family!  Here’s a little glimpse of our walk – the ducks were my favourite part :)

winter walk

After spending a day outside in the cold, nothing is more comforting than a warm bowl of thick soup and a hearty loaf of bread.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any of this beet and potato soup left to enjoy so I had to settle for an Earl Grey tea latte from Starbucks, but just looking at these photos as I prepared them for this post had me craving this soup so bad!

Beet & Potato Soup

I won't bore you with a long description of this soup except to say that it’s thick and creamy but still healthy, and is a gorgeous red colour! The first time I made this I used chicken broth but thought it didn’t quite work, so the next time I used vegetable broth, and also increased the cumin for more spice and let the soup simmer longer so the flavours would intensify, and it was so much better! If you hate beets, I’m not going to try to convince you to try this because the beet flavour is really front and center, but if you’re a beet lover like me then you will love this!

Beet & Potato Soup

Beet & Potato Soup

Adapted from Cooking Light

Serves 3-6, depending on serving size


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
1 pound of beets, peeled and quartered
1/2 pound yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bay leaf
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey or agave
Sour cream or plain yogurt for topping


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.  Add salt, pepper, and cumin, stir to coat and cook for another 30 seconds. 

Add vegetable broth, beets, potato, bay leaf, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30-35 minutes, until beets and potato are tender.  Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.  If soup has reduced considerably, add a splash of water.

Puree soup in three batches in a blender. Remove the plastic stopper in the blender lid and cover with a paper towel or tea towel to let steam escape.  After pureeing each batch, transfer to a bowl, then once all the soup has been pureed, transfer back to the saucepan to heat through, if necessary.  Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and taste.  Add an additional teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey or agave to sweeten, if desired.

Serve each portion with a swirl of sour cream or yogurt.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.

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