Carrot-top and beet-green soup

carrot top and beet green soup

Is there anything better than free food? Maybe only free booze but then that gift is a double-edged sword thanks to the threat of a hangover. When carrots and beetroots come with the stems and greens still on (which they do, if like me you’re the kind of bourgeois bastard who buys your vegetables from a health food shop in Dulwich), I’ll often bin them, because, well, laziness. But times are tight chez Silver, thanks to a forced surprise career-change into the world of freelance, so I had a little look around for frugal recipes, and it seems beet-green soup is a proper thing. A delicious thing! This blog’s not called Feast on Scraps for nothing.

Renegade that I am, I threw carrot tops in there too. Carrots and beets work well together in their root form after all, and their leaves also have a flavoursome common ground. This did mean the soup took a good bit more blending than a basic beetroot one, as the carrot leaves are tougher, but I’m sure you can handle that. Does being tougher means they’ve more goodness in? Let’s say it does.

Speaking of goodness, this soup is packed full of it – often-wasted greens come packed with as many vitamins as the kale you’re paying £3 a bag for after all. That’s why it looks so gross – it’s basically a savoury green smoothie. Those are chopped cashew nuts making a vain attempt to tart it up btw. They were nice, include at your discretion.

So get cooking up your cut-offs, for a lunch that’s nutritious, satisfying, and sort of free.

Ingredients (makes loads – 5-6 portions)

Tops and stems from one bunch (4-5) of beetroots

Tops and stems from one bunch (8-10) of carrots

1 medium brown onion, finely chopped

3 sticks of celery, finely chopped

1 yellow pepper, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1.5 litres of vegetable or chicken stock

A good drizzle of olive oil

Salt/pepper

 

Directions

Remove the leaves from the carrot and beet tops and set aside. Finely chop the stems.

Heat the olive oil in a lidded saucepan big enough for all the soup and add the vegetables, garlic and stems. Reduce the heat to medium and put the lid on. You want to sweat them down, stirring now and then so they don’t stick and brown for a good 15-20mins to intensify the flavour.

Take the lid of, throw in a pinch of salt, and give them a few minutes more, while stirring, until they’re looking good and caramelised, but not really browned.

Pour in the veg stock and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, finely chop your carrot and beet leaves.

Stir in the carrot leaves and simmer for 3-5mins. Add the beet leaves and turn off the heat. Stir to wilt them.

Carefully blend the soup in the pan with a stick blender. It’s important here, as it ever is, not to spray yourself with hot liquid, so get the blender right to the bottom and move it around slowly. Keep going until smooth. If at this point it’s too thick or too thin (you know how you like your soup), add more hot stock, or return to the head to reduce.

Sprinkle with some seeds, nuts, or even a drizzle of yoghurt or a crumbling of feta. Serve. Feel serene.

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