Caramelized Onion and Beet Soup


I don’t know where you live in the world, but as a West Coast resident, for me soup is by far the most essential culinary staple. I turn anything in my garden into soup, especially when I have bits of this and that on hand. Recently, I’ve found lonely beets stored in the root cellar (in my case, a container filled with peat moss) that already sprouted from the top. These are very reliable when we urban gardeners don’t have much else to turn to during garden transition times. I transform my beets into fresh juice in the morning and hearty soup later in the day. My mizuna is too tiny, radishes are too skinny, peas were dug up by birds—over time I have come to the realization that when everything is just starting to grow, it is good to have stored food.


Caramelized Onion and Beet Soup

I strongly recommend that you wear dark clothing, or at least wear an apron to prevent your clothes from being stained with all that brightly coloured juice! For the topping, I happened to have basil sprouts handy in my kitchen but if you can’t find them, almost any other type of sprout works. I prefer basil because it provides a special flavour punch when you first sip this soup, which is also topped with delicious almonds and sour cream.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 heaped cups beets, peeled and cut in chunks
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Sour cream
Sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Basil sprouts (or any sprouts available)

Place the oil and butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.

Sauté the onion, constantly turning until it caramelizes and gives off a sweet aroma.

Add the beets and sauté until well coated with oil, for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover with a lid and cook until beets are tender. Skim off the foam that appears on the surface occasionally.

Let the soup cool a little bit and then transfer to a blender and proceed until pureed. Place the soup back in the pot and add the Parmesan cheese. This is also the time to adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more water if you like. Bring to a simmer and adjust with salt and pepper.

Serve hot and top with the sour cream, toasted almonds and basil sprouts.


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03. May 2013 by Emi Uchida
Categories: Garden, Recipe, Soup, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , | 21 comments

Comments (21)

  1. Emi, The deep crimson in your first photo is simple stunning. I am such a fan of beets – that color is always irresistible to me!
    Love your little basil sprouts too. I was just thinning out my basil seedling yesterday. Great idea.
    Hope you’re well.

    • Erin, the soup was truly delish and energizing as you can tell in its colour. Aren’t we so fortunate to have a variety of fruits to eat? Hope you are doing well too and I can’t wait for your new book to hit the book store! xoxo

  2. Beets大好きです。でもたいていサラダばかりでスープで食べたことはないかも(っていうかたぶんない!)。緑のカーディガンの写真、いいアクセントになって、いい感じのショットですね!

    • ありがとう、なみさん!わたしもビーツサラダ大好きです。歯ごたえが楽しいし、ゴートチーズと組み合わされた時にはビーツ独特の味がさらに引き出されてたまりませんね。そこへ、えいっとバルサミックベースのドレッシングをかけたらもうこの上ないですね!ビーツのスープはビーツの素朴な味とテクスチャーがチキンストックととても相性がいいですね。口の中に優しく広がり、心も温まります。試してみてね!

  3. This soup is on the stove as I’m writing this. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Hi Jackie. I came back from soaking wet rain all day and saw your comment, and thought to myself, Oh I wish I have the soup on my stove now! Hope you enjoy the recipe:) Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Sooooooo yummy! I will definitely make this recipe again.

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  7. Found this on Pinterest yesterday and made it tonight for dinner. I LOVED it! And so did my boyfriend 🙂 We’ve never been beet fans, so this was a fun surprise. We topped with 0% fat Greek yogurt, parsley, and scallions. Definitely will be a staple in our house. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Do I need to roast the beetroot first to cook it or just get fresh beetroot, peel, cut and fry as per your instructions?
    Hope it turns out as great as it looks

  11. Hmmm I don’t think I roast them. I’m blonde and just read your instructions properly re boiling until tender

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing, I cooked the soup today, added yellow beetroot and pine nuts -it’s amazing!

  14. This was wonderful! I added a little more salt, butter and a touch of red pepper for some kick. Delicious and super easy!

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