Roasted Beet Soup With Smoked Trout and Sour Cream

From Cleetus Friedman

Cleetus, the owner of City Provisions deli in Ravenswood,  is so awesome he not only brought this stunning soup, which had the magical power to send a seven-year-old boy back for THIRDS, he also brought me a turkey sandwich. Which I desperately needed later on that night. Here’s what he has to say about his soup:  “I grew up, like most kids, disliking beets.  When I started committing to cooking seasonally, I ran into the dreaded beet season.  This made me start working with them and having more fun with them.  These days, beet soup is not only one of my favorites, but something that will convert those like I was into beet lovers, too.  Although I like to garnish this soup with smoked trout and sour cream, you can use yogurt or croutons as well.”

Ingredients

¼ pound red beets (about 3 medium)
¼ pound golden beets
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 leek, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups water
1 small bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 fresh parsley sprig
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sour cream

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350° F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets. Cut 1/4 of 1 beet into 1/4-inch cubes; reserve for garnish. Cut remaining beets into 1/2-inch pieces.

Melt butter with oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek, onion, and celery and cook until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 13 minutes. Stir in ginger, allspice, white pepper, and ½ inch beet pieces. Cook until vegetables begin to stick to bottom of pot, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add 2 cups water, bay leaf, thyme sprig, and parsley sprig. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.

Strain soup through a chinois.

Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender with cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made one day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate.)

Garnish with sour cream and shredded smoked trout, if you like.

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