not all beetroot soup is borscht

I seem slightly compulsive in my usage of individual seasonal items, but I must defend myself with the statement I made in my previous post: it depends on the fact that I´m cooking for one.
Few days ago I bought a 1000g package of beetroots and has only used 2 of them for making Diana Henry´s beetroot salad.
Being the weather as it is, stormy and rainy, I felt like soup, but not as strong as I find borscht can be sometimes. I was in the mood for something smooth and velvety and most of all comforting. I couldn´t be bothered roasting the beetroots wrapped individually in foil, so I cooked them in salted water to wich I added olive oil and marjoram.

Marjoram used to be my grandmother´s favorite herb, she added it a bit here and there to several dishes, not too much, just a touch. I wish I could say I was interested in cooking as a child (as many real foodies seem to have been) and learnt from my granny but I wasn´t the least interested , I didn´t even like to eat. In fact, I dreaded mealtime. It was an ongoing war between the "grownups" and I as I was never hungry...oh well, now I´m always hungry but can´t eat because of this starch-allergy or ironic ;P

Back to the soup. Peeled the beets while still warm, stuffed myself with two of them as they were, plain with plenty of butter, cut the rest (4 middle-large beetroot) in thick slices and melted a smallish chopped onion with olive oil that I added the beetroot slices to. One more pinch of marjoram went in there and also 1/2 of vegetable Maggi cube and about 200-300ml of water. I let it simmer for a while (about 4-5 minutes) and poured everything down in the blender. When everything was smooth I transferred it back to the dish I cooked the beetroots in, added about 150ml of cream, brought it to a quick boil and served.
It was exactly what I was yearning for: sweet, warming, flavorful in a mild way and really, really comforting.

While looking for something to use instead of potatoes, I came across some interesting data about the starch content in potatoes and beets. While the starch content of 100g raw potatoes is 15g, raw beetroot contains only 0,6g starch!!!! That´s an enormous difference! Since then I have been serving cooked beets to fish and meat dishes, a lot better than eating everything with dark bread, as I did for a while.
[OK, I do realize that most of you are not interested in facts about starch content in food (lucky you!), but there are many people out there with IBS who might have some use of this... It took time and research before I could identify my problem and also find the connection between IBS and starch content in diet...]
Also, the comparision with the potato gave me the idea to try making the "French potato" soup next time, using beetroot instead! I´m totally enthusiastic about this!
Oh, and while in this "besser-wisser" mode, I would like to remind you about all the good things the beetroot is loaded with: the vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, antioxidants, potassium, dietary fiber and something new that I´ve just learned. Beetroot is also rich in betaine that helps us fight the development of different cardiovascular diseases.
Wow! I just found something very interesting. Just have a look at the Cuisine chapter...Stephen Nottingham has made a thourough research and geathered suggestions from foodwriters like Nigel Slater, Sophie Grigson, Claudia Roden, Elizabeth David and Simon Hopkinson.
I can already see more beetroot posts coming...sorry folks ;P


annauk said…
Next time I go shopping I'm buying some beetroot! Definitely!
I have beetroot in my veg basket this week, I'm definately making this it looks gorgeous.

George xx
vonsachsen said…
Anna, I´ve noticed you are (have been? ;P) into "superfood". Beetroot might classify...

George, I´m happy you felt inspired :)
pistachio said…
We absolutely love beetroot!

pi xxx

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