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.
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.
© 1998 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.