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I’ve been all about soups these days and have tried out every single soup recipe from this book in the last couple of weeks. To be fair, I’m all about soup all the time – to me it’s the ultimate comfort food, as easy and satisfying as can be. As much as I love smooth, creamy ones, I often crave a chunky texture in my soups, thinking back to the ones I ate for lunch every day of my childhood. To most Russians, soup is a mandatory part of lunch – it’s served first, followed by a main, second course. My mother never had a shortage of soup ideas, and things like borsht, green borsht, solyanka, mushroom soup, and sturgeon uha were on the lunch table on any given day.
This soup is an interesting step away from the classic autumn squash soup – brilliant pink in colour, with plenty of textures and flavours to warm the soul and nourish the body. I adapted the recipe from Salatshop, a Russian wellness blog written by Olya Malysheva out of Moscow. Olya’s style is endlessly optimistic and she is great at coming up with vegetarian recipes that require no fuss. Her site and its popularity makes the Russian in me very proud – it’s great to see such an increasing interest in sites like Salatshop in the country of meat and potatoes. If you speak Russian, you should definitely pay it a visit.
Pink Soup with Roasted Onions and Broccoli
2-3 small to medium beets – peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 small to medium red onions – peeled and quartered or cut into eighths, depending on size
grape seed oil
1 head of broccoli – cut into bite-sized florets
2 cans Thai coconut milk
pinch of chili powder or a dash of cayenne
1/2 lemon – juiced
1-2 ripe but firm avocados
freshly ground black pepper
arugula leaves for garnish
1. Add beets to a medium-sized saucepan along with the garlic and a pinch of salt and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until beets are tender.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F (180 C). Place onions on an oiled baking sheet, lightly brush with oil and roast until golden, for about 20 minutes.
3. While waiting for the beets and onions to cook, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes. Immediately transfer into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking.
4. When the beets are tender, add in coconut milk and a pinch of salt, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add in the broccoli, stir to heat it through and then remove from the heat. Squeeze lemon juice over the soup and adjust salt if needed.
5. Cube the avocado. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with roasted onion wedges, avocado cubes and arugula leaves. Serve with sourdough and/or sprouted bread avocado toasts. Enjoy!