Serve this rustic, French-inspired soup “a la vieille Russie” (hot with a swirl of sour cream or yogurt), paired with simple oven-roasted chicken, duck or potatoes. A sprinkle of savory fresh herbs, like dill, thyme or chives, adds even more character.
- 2 lbs medium beets , washed, unpeeled, and trimmed
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 C diced yellow onion
- 2 C diced fennel bulb
- 2 t minced garlic
- 4 C vegetable broth
- 1 C orange juice
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan. Roast them in the oven for about 1 hour or until tender. Allow beets to cool, then peel and cut into small chunks. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, fennel and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes until soft. Add the chopped beets and the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the orange juice and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Using a stick blender or carefully, in batches, in a regular blender, blend the soup until smooth. Taste the soup and adjust for salt and black pepper if needed.