Beet and Chipotle Soup

I know what you’re thinking… “beet and chipotle soup?!” Yes, and it’s as good as it sounds.

(serves 4 to 6)

  • 2 pounds whole beets, stems trimmed to less than 1-inch
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus 1/4 cup for garnish
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo (you’ll find these canned)
  • Fresh chives or other herb, chopped for garnish

Put the beets, stock and wine into a large soup pot and add the water. The liquid should cover the beets by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil and let simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Fork test the beets for tenderness before removing them from the pot. Remove the beets with a slotted spoon and reserve the cooking liquid in the soup pot. When the beets have cooled enough to handle, peel them and remove the stems and roots. Cut up 1/2 cup of 1/2-inch diced beets for garnish and set aside.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and when it is melted, add the onion and brow sugar. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the onions, coarsely shopped beets, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, 1/2 cup sour cream, and chiles in adobo to the beet liquid in the soup pot. Whirl everything in the container of a blender until smooth (in batches if needed). The soup can be served hot of cold; if cold, chill for at least 6 hours. Garnish with the reserved beets and 1 Tablespoon of sour cream, then garnish with chives.

Recipe adapted from by Katharine Kagel’s Cooking with Cafe Pasqual’s: Recipes from Santa Fe’s Renowned Corner Cafe

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