This soup recipe is in honor and mourning of the recently lost Gourmet magazine.  The November 2009 issue (as I am sure most of you know) is their last issue ever.  It ran from the year that Pearl Harbor was attacked, 1941 to now, 2009.  Americans’ food choices and methods of cooking have changed much since those early days of Gourmet.  Unlike back then, we don’t associate haute cuisine anymore solely with French food.  We now see the beauty and hauteness of many different cuisines from the humblest rice and beans to the pristine austerity of sushi. 

This soup caught my eye mostly because of the beautiful color (if you follow or look at some of my other posts, I have a thing for orange hued soups/curries).  I also have not been the biggest fan of beets since I have tasted them.  They were one of the other abhored vegetables that I would never touch when growing up.  Mixing them with carrots and pureeing them into soup seemed like a good way to experience them again.  As you can see, this soup is NOT orange but magenta.  In fact, my childhood room is painted a color very similiar to this.  I made some tweaks to Gourmet’s recipe and in the end, it was a delicious fall day soup.  I also love it because there is no crazy chopping and in the end it gets pureed anyway!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: approximately 8-12 (it would also be good served in shot glasses)

3 tblsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme
3 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped
1 lb. beets, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. salt
some grindings of fresh black pepper
7 c. low/no sodium vegetable broth
2 tblsp. red wine/champagne vinegar
2 tblsp. dijon mustard
1/2 c. half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

fresh chopped dill
sour cream mixed to taste with horseradish

Heat oil over medium in a heavy stockpot (I used my enameled cast iron) and cook onions and thyme for about 3 minutes, until onions are softened.  Add beets, carrots, 2 tsp salt, black pepper, and broth.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 25 minutes until veggies are easily pierced with a fork.  Puree in a blender and transfer back to pot.  Add vinegar, mustard, and then stir in the half and half.  Taste for seasonig and bring back to temperature.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with dill and horseradish sour cream.  Some pumpernickel/rye bread would go nicely.

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