This soup is unusual, delicious and vibrant. The recipe comes from One Straw Farm in Whitehall (Baltimore County), one of more than 140 USDA-certified organic farms in Maryland. The farm has more than 1,100 CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) subscribers.
Make Ahead: The soup can be made a day in advance.
- 3 large (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) beets, trimmed and scrubbed
- 2 cups orange juice, preferably fresh
- 5 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or as needed
- 2/3 cup plain whole or low-fat yogurt, plus more for garnish (may use Greek-style yogurt for a thicker soup)
- Carrot strands, for garnish (optional)
Combine the beets, orange juice, broth, onion, salt and pepper in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the beets are soft. Remove from the heat.
Remove the beets; peel them under cold water (changing it once or twice as needed so you can handle the warm vegetables), then cut them into quarters.
Place half the quartered beets in the blender, along with half of the contents of the saucepan. Remove the center knob of the lid and place a dish towel over the opening so that steam can escape. Puree until smooth and transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining beets and contents of the saucepan.
Add yogurt to the beet puree and stir to incorporate thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve hot, chilled or at room temperature; garnish with a dollop of yogurt or carrot strands, if desired.
Adapted from "Dishing Up Maryland," by Lucie L. Snodgrass (Storey Publishing, 2010).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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