Beetroot and orange soup with saffron yoghurt
This recipe gives a great autumn twist to the purple root vegetable.
1.2kg medium beetroot, skin on, scrubbed and trimmed
1 large head garlic
3 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp extra
¼ tsp saffron threads soaked in 1 tbsp boiling water for at least 30 minutes
400g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp lemon juice
40g flaked almonds
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
Shaved skin of ½ an orange, plus 60ml of its juice
1.3 litres vegetable stock
5g basil leaves, coarsely shredded
Heat the oven to 200 C gas mark 6. Put the beetroot in a high-sided baking tray, so they fit snugly. Cut off and discard the top quarter of the garlic head, then put the garlic cut side up in one corner of the tray. Drizzle the garlic with a teaspoon of oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cover the tray tightly with two layers of foil, then roast for an hour, until the beetroot are soft when pierced with a knife and the garlic is caramelised.
Set aside for about 10 minutes, until the beetroot are cool enough to handle, then peel and discard the skin, and chop the beets into 2cm dice. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl.
Mix the saffron (and its soaking water) with the yoghurt, lemon juice and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and set aside.
Put a medium frying pan on a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the almonds and chilli, fry for a minute or two, stirring often, until they start to turn golden, then tip into a bowl.
Put two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Fry the onion in the hot oil for eight to nine minutes, stirring a few times, until soft and caramelised. Add the ginger, cinnamon, orange skin and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt, fry for a minute longer, then add the beetroot, roast garlic puree, orange juice and stock,. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes, then take off the heat, remove and discard the orange skin, and blitz smooth with a stick blender.
Divide the soup between six bowls, spoon a dollop of yoghurt on each, sprinkle the almonds and basil on top, and serve.
Source: The Guardian