Beetroot and Cumin Soup with Dumplings

Deep ruby red, velvety smooth, a satisfying mingle of sweet and umami. What’s not to like about beetroot soup. The small, slightly al-dente, Ukrainian style dumplings add a lively zing of horseradish, making for a very satisfying meal.

Stock: Stock is the vital ingredient in soup. Its flavours can make or break the final result. Too strong or too salty and it overpowers. To pallid and it’s difficult to balance the flavours. We have been cooking from scratch this past month, wasting as little food as possible. Chickens and Hams have been poached, not roasted, and vegetable scraps simmered, flushing out the final remnants of goodness and taste. This has meant a plentiful supply of good stocks for casseroles and soups.

Ham stock was the stock of choice for this recipe. I think the slight saltiness balances well with the sweetness of the beetroot. Traditionally though a beetroot soup would have a beef stock base.   If you haven’t any home-made stocks chose a good quality ready-made, beef or chicken stock.   For a vegetarian base white miso offers an interesting  depth and a slightly salty flavour.

Keep well Keep Safe.

Beetroot and Cumin Soup with Horseradish  Dumplings

beetroot soup dumplings sour cream onions and dill

Beetroot and Cumin Soup with Horseradish Dumplings

Ingredients

Serves 4

*4-5 fresh medium beetroot, cooked (see below)

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1.5 litres ham or beef stock

Ground black pepper and salt to season

Dumplings

125g plain flour

A good pinch of salt

1 medium egg

50ml stock or water

2 teaspoons horseradish sauce (optional)

1 litre stock or salted water for cooking

To serve:

Plain full fat yoghurt

½ a small onion very finely diced

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill.

Pumpernickel or sourdough bread

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 5. Loosely wrap the beetroot in foil and bake it for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and open the foil parcel and let the beetroot cool enough to handle before removing the skin. Chop the cooked beetroot  into chunks.

If you haven’t the time to precook the beetroot then grate raw beetroots adding  as instructed below.  Its worth taking the time to bake it beforehand though to develop the full mellow potential of its flavour. 

Heat the oil into a 2-3 litre pan or casserole over a moderate heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add the cumin seeds cooking for 30 seconds or so before stirring in the chopped or grated beetroot. Pour over enough stock to cover the beetroot (you can add more later if needed). Put the lid on the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and puree the soup with a hand blender.

Dumplings

Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. In a second bowl or jug blend together the egg, stock and horseradish sauce. Pour into the flour, mixing to a paste.

In a medium pan heat the stock or salted water to a rolling boil. In batches, add teaspoonfuls of the dumpling dough and simmer for several minutes to cook. You will know they are done as they float to the surface when cooked. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon to a warm dish and repeat the process until the dough is used.

To serve:

Put the yoghurt, dill and chopped onion into separate small dishes. Reheat the soup. ladle into large soup plates and then add dumplings to each portion. Allow dinners to sprinkle over the diced onion, dill and yoghurt as desired.

Happy Cooking

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