(makes enough for 4)
You’ll need: 3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped 2 carrots, roughly chopped a knob of butter a splash of olive oil 5 raw beetroot, peeled and diced (wear marigolds!) 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs 100ml masala wine or sherry 1 litre of good beef stock or consommé (you can buy this in supermarkets easily) 1 bay leaf 1 lemon, juiced To serve: sour cream fresh dill vodka
Make it! Sweat the onion, celery and carrot in melted butter and oil, with a big pinch of salt until translucent (about 15 mins). Add the beetroot and mixed herbs and sweat for a further 15 mins. Add the masala wine (or sherry), beef stock and about a litre of water and season with salt and pepper. Throw in the bay and simmer for about half an hour to 45 mins. Strain the veg through a sieve, and pick out the beetroot. Discard the other other veg, but keep the beetroot and add it back to the soup. Add the lemon juice, this keeps the colour bright and counterbalances the sweetness. Remove any excess oil from the surface of the liquid with a spoon and a little patience if you want a really clear soup. Stir in a couple of shots of vodka before serving with the sour cream and dill.
These are some recipes collected over the years in kitchens. They are mainly in note form, hence rough, and often scribbled down like a madwoman. Contact me if it’s all too confusing!