Tender beets, freshly pulled from the garden, can be transformed into this bright, tangy soup.

Why should you grow your own vegetables? Says British cooking phenomenon (and grow-your-own fanatic) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: "It's a form of self expression."
Servings: Serves 4–6
Tomato sauce:
  • 2 to 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 pounds fully ripe tomatoes , halved
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 to 4 medium beets
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups good strong stock (preferably beef; chicken or vegetable will do)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Make sauce: Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix garlic and oil. Arrange tomato halves tightly, cut side up, in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with garlic and oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 35 to 45 minutes, until tomatoes are pulpy and slightly charred. When cool, rub through a sieve; discard skins and seeds.

Make soup: Peel beets; chop into small dice. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté onion about 3 minutes, until soft. Add beets and stock; bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, until beets are tender. Stir in 3/4 cup tomato sauce (reserve the rest for later use). Let soup cool slightly.

Transfer to a blender; process until smooth. Return to pan. Reheat until hot but not boiling. Serve, topped with feta and accompanied by crusty bread.

Adapted from The River Cottage Cookbook, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Copyright © 2001, 2008. Photography © 2001, 2008 by Simon Wheeler. Reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press.


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