This vibrant soup is rich with the earthiness of slow-roasted beetroot, bacon and cabbage.
- 4 large beetroot (1.3kg)
- 50 gm lard
- 150 gm bacon, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1.5 litres chicken stock (6 cups)
- 270 gm white cabbage (about ¼), finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- To taste: cayenne pepper
- To serve: finely grated fresh horseradish and crème fraîche
Crisp rye crackers
- 375 gm light rye flour, plus extra for dusting (3 cups)
- 7 gm dried yeast (1 sachet)
- For brushing: olive oil
- For scattering: sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap each beetroot in foil, roast until tender (1-1½ hours). Set aside to cool, then peel, coarsely chop and set aside.
- 2Meanwhile, heat lard in a large saucepan over low heat, add bacon, onion and garlic and sauté until very tender (15-20 minutes). Add stock, cabbage, carrot and vinegar and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are very tender (40-45 minutes). Add roast beetroot, season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper, cook until beetroot is very tender (10 minutes), then purée with a hand-held blender until very smooth. Keep warm.
- 3Meanwhile, for crisp rye crackers, preheat oven to 150C. Combine flour, yeast, 250ml water and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl, knead to combine. Divide dough in half, roll out each half between 2 sheets of baking paper until 2mm thick, then set aside, covered with a tea towel, to rest (1 hour). Transfer to oven trays, brush lightly with oil, dust lightly with flour and scatter with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Bake until starting to crisp (25-35 minutes), then increase oven to 180C, bake until golden and crisp (5 minutes).
- 4Sprinkle soup with extra cayenne pepper, top with horseradish and a spoonful of crème fraîche and serve with crisp rye crackers.
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