Beetroot is delicious teamed with other vegetables, as in this version of the Russian classic.
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500 g (1 lb 2 oz) raw beetroot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
50 g (1¾ oz) button mushrooms, sliced
150 g (5½ oz) onions, chopped
1 small red or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
175 g (6 oz) potatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
A pinch of dried thyme
Salt and black pepper
To garnish: 150 g (5½ oz) low-fat natural yoghurt and chopped fresh chives
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:40min › Ready in:55min
Put the beetroot, celery, mushrooms, onions, pepper and potatoes into a large saucepan and stir in the oil. Cook over a high heat, stirring, until the vegetables start to sizzle. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.
Stir in the coriander and cumin and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Add the stock and thyme, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with yoghurt and a sprinkling of chives.
Variation: to make a smooth soup, purée all the ingredients at the end of Step 2 in a food processor or by using a hand-held mixer.