Beetroot Soup

This is not a real Russian beetroot soup, but a wonderful colour nevertheless. It is quite filling and suitable as a supper dish with very little to follow, or you might like it chilled having removed any fat that rises to the top.


  • 900ml/ pints chicken stock
  • 225g/8 oz beetroot, chopped and cleaned
  • 225g/8 oz potatoes, chopped and cleaned
  • 115g/4oz carrots, chopped
  • 115g/4oz parsnips, chopped
  • 55g/2oz celery, fibres removed
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 55g/2oz goose or chicken fat, or1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs (herbes Provençal)
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley


  • tomato purée
  • orange juice
  • red wine
  • sherry
  • soured cream


Bring stock to the boil, add beetroot, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery, green leek tops and simmer for about 1 hour. (Beetroot takes a long time to cook!) In the meantime, fry the onions, white part of leek and garlic in the fat or oil in a frying pan until the onions begin to brown, stirring continuously, add the herbs and fry a little longer. Add these ingredients to the saucepan and just bring to the boil. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and add the chopped parsley and then liquidise.

You may enhance the colour of the soup by adding tomato purée – and give flavour by adding either orange juice, red wine or sherry. A swirl of soured cream may be added when serving.