Beetroot and porcini broth

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      40 min

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By Alice Hart

Published 2018

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Sometimes a rich main course demands a light starter, and this fits the bill very prettily: a ruby broth that will tempt but not overfill diners. Do try to avoid the beetroot that’s ready-cooked, vinegared and wrapped in plastic – you want the fresh stuff full of all that sweet, earthy flavour.


  • 3 large beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 20 g (¾ oz) dried porcini mushrooms
  • a handful of chervil or flat-leaf parsley including stalks, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • a squeeze of lemon, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar


Put the beetroot, carrots, celery, porcini mushrooms and chervil in a large saucepan and add 800 ml (28 floz) water. Bring to the boil very slowly, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Leave to stand for 20 minutes, then strain the broth through a fine sieve, reserving the mushrooms and a third of the beetroot.

Finely dice the porcini and the reserved beetroot and add to the strained broth. Season with the lemon juice, sugar and some salt and pepper.

Divide the soup among serving bowls and garnish with the chervil sprigs.