Deluxe Beet Soup

Beet Soup. So simple, so vibrant, so delightful. The Beet Soup I’m talking about today isn’t the same thing as Borscht. This isn’t to say that it isn’t Borscht-like, but I don’t think any eater or maker of traditional Borscht recipes would consider this to qualify.

beet soup in a bowl.

I’m calling this “Deluxe Beet Soup” because when we sat down to eat it for dinner for the first time, my partner’s nine-year-old son said “Wow. This is like… deluxe.”

That’s high praise coming from a kid! So I figured it needed an actual recipe, so I could make it again, and so you could make it and hopefully get a similar response from your family.

The flavour of this soup is so rich and savoury, which is a nice contrast to the sweet beets. I like to use a stick blender to partially blend this soup, which makes for a hearty broth with lots of body, but it still has lots of texture.

What you’ll need to make this recipe

Beets: I use classic purple beets because I like the colour. Golden ones would probably work too if you want a golden soup!
Onion: You didn’t think I’d make a soup recipe without it, did you?
Garlic: Beets are sweet. Garlic helps make this soup savoury.
Tomato paste: For a lovely bit of richness and body.
Bay leaves: For background aroma.
Oil: I used a neutral oil for this (avocado) but now that I think about it, extra virgin olive oil or butter would probably make it even more deluxe.
Salt: Because salt.
Parmesan rind: I would like to say this is optional, but it kinda isn’t. It’s the parm rind that gives this soup its deluxe flavour.
Fresh dill: This is the Borscht-iest part of this soup. I love dill, but if you don’t, you could use fresh parsley or chives.
Water: Keeping it simple, no stock required. But if you want, you can totally use stock. And if you wanna bump up your water with some “Better Than Boullion”, you can do that too.

beets and onions on a cutting board.

How to make this Deluxe Beet Soup

This Beet Soup isn’t only deluxe, it’s also really easy and quick to make. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Peel the onion and chop into a medium-fine dice.
  • Peel the beets, and cut them into one-centimetre cubes.
  • In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil, onions, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon, and allow to soften for five minutes.
  • While the onions cook, peel and mince the garlic and set it aside.
  • After five minutes or so, add the garlic and the tomato paste to the onions and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Add the beets to the pot, and stir to combine everything. Drop in the bay leaves and the parmesan rind, and add the water or stock.
  • Turn the heat to high, bring the mixture to a boil, then put the lid on, reduce to medium-low, and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the beets are soft.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, remove the parmesan rind and bay leaves, and partially blend the soup using a stick blender.
  • Add the fresh dill, taste for seasoning, and enjoy!
a pot of beet soup with fresh dill.

Tips for success

These tips will ensure your Deluxe Beet Soup is as deluxe as it can be.

  • When choosing beets, make sure they are nice and firm. Old, soft beets will make a less deluxe soup.
  • Don’t brown the onions! There’s nothing wrong with browned onions, but for this soup, we don’t want that brown flavour. Keep an eye on them while they cook, and keep them moving so they sweat evenly and don’t develop any brown edges.
  • Don’t cook this soup for too long. If you continue to cook the soup for too long, the beets will eventually lose their vibrant colour. 20-25 minutes should do the trick.

Ways you can adapt this Beet Soup

  • Use fresh parsley or chives instead of fresh dill.
  • Skip the blending step if you want a purely chunky soup with a light broth—or blend it completely for a 100% silky smooth soup experience.
  • If you want a little bit of tang, it’s kinda nice to add a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar to this soup at the very end. I flip-flop on this addition, depending on my mood. But more often than not, I leave it out.
  • If you’re into it, an optional crack of black pepper is a nice way to finish this soup.

What goes well with this Deluxe Beet Soup?

This soup is perfect on its own, but a dollop of yogurt or sour cream is also a nice addition. As with almost any soup in the world, a nice crusty chunk of bread on the side is welcomed.

beet soup in pot.

Storage, freezing, and reheating tips

This Deluxe Beet Soup recipe doesn’t make a huge batch, so it’ll probably be eaten pretty quickly. But if you do have leftovers, it keeps in the fridge for a few days and freezes like a dream.

To store leftovers, add the soup to a shallow container and allow it to cool for 30-60 minutes before covering and transferring it to the fridge or freezer. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a month.

Reheat the soup in a pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until it comes to a quick boil.

To reheat the soup in a microwave, place the leftovers in a bowl, cover with a lid and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes until heated through.

Never defrost the soup at room temperature. Either reheat it straight from the freezer or let it defrost in the fridge overnight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make this soup in a slow cooker or pressure cooker?

A: I wouldn’t recommend it. Cooking this soup low and slow would cause the beets to lose some of their vibrant colour. And It only takes 25 minutes in a normal pot, so a pressure cooker probably wouldn’t save you much time.

Q: I usually throw my parmesan rinds out. Should I be hanging on to them?

A: Yes! Once you get to the end of your parmesan cheese, throw the rind in a small container or a baggie and keep them in your freezer for moments like this. You’ll be so glad you did!

Q: This recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. What do I do with the rest of it?

A: This is exactly why I love buying tomato paste in resealable tubes. You can use what you need, and keep the rest for next time. If you are dealing with a can of tomato paste, simply scoop the remainder of the can into little blobs on a plate, then freeze them. Once frozen, transfer the blobs into a little container or baggie and keep them in the freezer for the next time you require tomato paste.

Q: Do bay leaves really do anything?

Yes! If you ever want to truly see the power of bay leaves, bring a small pot of water with a bay leaf inside to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Taste the water, and you’ll finally believe in the power of a bay leaf.

Q: Is this soup low carb?

A: Yes! Beets are naturally a somewhat carby vegetable, but as long as you’re not having a giant chunk of bread on the side, this is a fairly low-carb meal.

Q: Can I use stock instead of water?

A: Sure you can. It isn’t needed, because the parmesan rinds, the tomato paste, and all the other ingredients make this soup very flavourful. But if you want, you can use chicken stock, vegetable stock, or even beef stock in place of water.

Q: I don’t have a stick blender. Can I use a food processor instead?

Sure! Just remove a couple of ladles of soup from the pot, blend that in the food processor, then add the blended portion back to the rest of the soup.

Still hungry?

If you love this Deluxe Beet Soup, you’ll probably be into some of my other soup recipes. Here are a few to try:

beet soup in pot.

Deluxe Beet Soup

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

When I served this beet soup to a 9-year-old kid, he said it tasted "deluxe". So, there you have it.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion (250 grams)
  • 5 beets (750 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 parmesan rind (or more)
  • 28 grams fresh dill (1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 litre water or stock

Instructions

  1. Peel the onion and chop into medium-fine dice.
  2. Peel the beets, and cut them into one-centimetre cubes
  3. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil, onions, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon, and allow to soften for five minutes.
  4. While the onions cook, peel and mince the garlic and set it aside.
  5. After five minutes or so, add the garlic and the tomato paste to the onions and stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the beets to the pot, and stir to combine everything. Drop in the bay leaves and the parmesan rind, and add the water or stock.
  7. Turn the heat to high, bring the mixture to a boil, then put the lid on, reduce to medium-low, and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the beets are soft.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat, remove the parmesan rind and bay leaves, and partially blend the soup using a stick blender.
  9. Add the fresh dill, taste for seasoning, add the 2nd teaspoon of salt if needed, and enjoy!

Notes

If using water, feel free to add some "Better Than Boullion" to it for a richer flavour. If you do use this method, you might find you don't need the 2nd teaspoon of salt, as BtB is on the salty side.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 75Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 2mgSodium 822mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 3g

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