August 11th, 2021


Brrr, soup really is the best remedy for this cold snap (+ a hottie and a pair of snuggly slippers). Just when I thought winter was coming to an early end (I know wishful thinking!) the heavy frosts are back. A frost in our valley means a frozen garden until 9.30 am when the sun finally finds its way over the crest of the hill. I have my fingers and toes crossed that the tomato seeds I have just sown survive as they won’t germinate below 18°C. I am constantly moving the tray between the fire and the sunroom and back again to try and maintain an even temperature. Oh, the joys of gardening in the south! ⁠

Today I have shared this fabulous beetroot soup that has become a favourite this winter. I have shared quite a number of soup recipes over the years and have compiled a list below – just in case beetroot isn’t your thing I am sure there is one below that tickles your fancy…

Beetroot, Caraway & Black Pepper Soup

A vegetable-packed borscht-style soup with a hint of caraway and a good dose of cracked black pepper. With a secret ingredient of pickled gherkins to add a gentle sweet-sour flavour. The key is to finely slice (onions and celery) and grate (carrots and beetroot) the vegetables so they are a similar size and mingle together into one delicious combination of vegetables that all become vibrantly dyed by the beetroot.
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil​
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced​
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on an angle​
  • 2 carrots, grated​
  • 2 medium beetroot*, about 300g, grated​
  • 4 pickled gherkins, grated​
  • 5 cups (1.25 litres) vegetable stock​
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds or crushed coriander seeds​
  • ½ tsp salt​
  • Generous grind of black pepper​
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar​
  • Sour cream and chopped chives to serve


  • In a large saucepan add the oil and onion, sauté over a low heat for 10 minutes. Prepare the celery and carrots, and add to the pan as they are ready. Continue to cook over the gentle heat to create a flavour base for the soup (similar to a mirepoix).
  • Add the beetroot, gherkins, stock, caraway, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the beetroot is tender*.
  • Add the vinegar and check the taste, adding extra salt and/or pepper if needed.
  • Serve hot bowls of soup with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of chives.


*Pre-cooked whole beetroot can also be used (roasted or boiled). Simply peel, grate and use as above. Reduce cooking time by 10 minutes.


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