Wednesday, August 10, 2011

{ Beet Pear Soup + Your Weekly Peek }

I know just what you've been dying to see: pictures of my vegetables! What can I say? They're gorgeous aren't they? Well not so much this week, but they really do put store bought produce to shame. I kind of lament in the fall when CSA season is over. But not to fear, it's only week 10 of a 22 week season; there are plenty more farm fresh vegetables to come. 

This week we have another full box, it's filled with the usual carrots, beets, cabbage, potatoes, zucchini,  lettuce, cilantro and garlic. The newbies this week are green beans, a cucumber and a sweet onion.

**If you like to can or freeze organic green beans my farm is selling them bulk, leave a comment or email me if you want the details about getting your hands on these goodies.**

On to the Beet Pear Soup, a pleasant surprise. As you know, I've been on a quest for ways to eat our beets this year. I've made Red Velvet Beet Cake, I've started mixing the beet greens with lettuce for salads and shredding raw beets into our salads as well. I thought that surely, the beets must be done growing now. Like the radishes, the supply must come to an end at some point, right? Wrong. They just keep coming, for better or worse. Luckily, the new meal plan program that I'm trying out The Fresh 20 has taken into account that CSAs are beet factories right now and they have planned two dishes using beets this week. The first of which was the Beet Pear Soup that we had for dinner Monday night. It was such a culinary surprise that I have to share the recipe with you. Unfortunately, I hadn't planned on sharing this so I don't have any pictures of the process.

Night two of the Beet Pear Soup, we used what was left as a dip for cucumbers and goat cheese with our  salmon and broccoli, you really should check out The Fresh 20.

Beet Pear Soup with Cheese Toasts by The Fresh 20

Beet Pear Soup
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly cut into 3" pieces
1/2 medium onion, cut into quarters
2 stalks of celery cut into 3" pieces
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 beet root bulb (approximately 2 cups), peeled and cut into eighths
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
24oz of vegetable or chicken stock
salt to taste (We didn't add any!)

Heat the oil in a medium sized stock pot and saute the carrots, onions and celery for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Mix in the beets and garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes before adding the pear and stock. Simmer the soup for 10-15 minutes over medium heat.

Finally, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor to puree until smooth. I thought that I'd be smart and use my immersion blender as I often do with soup, not the smartest idea when working with beets. I'd keep it contained in the blender or food processor if I were you.

Once the soup is pureed, season with salt.

Cheese Toasts

1/2 whole wheat baguette, cut into 1" thick slices
4 oz goat cheese softened
1 Tblsp olive oil
Chopped fresh herbs

Toast the baguette pieces under the broiler on both sides, watching carefully not to burn. Brush with olive oil and top with goat cheese and chopped fresh herbs. I recommend doing this while the soup is simmering.

We had the Beet Pear Soup with Cheese Toasts, Corn on the Cob and a Pinot Gris that we picked up on our trip to Yamhill Wine Country in Oregon back in June; delicious! This meal was an unexpectedly awesome mix of sweet and savory.

The Beet Pear Soup and Cheese Toasts make a perfectly light summer meal. So if you have beets that you need to eat and you're looking for a new, adventurous and gourmet way to eat them, look no further and have this for dinner.

Do you have a beet or soup recipe that was surprisingly good?

PS - I must make this note, don't have the soup without the toasts. They are perfect compliments and I don't think that the soup would be as good without them.

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