By Alexis Baran
Marketing Specialist at Tourism Vancouver
Make this if you feel like eating a lot of something that is strong in taste and beautiful in colour. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot – this makes a giant pot of soup, so either be sure that you own a very large pot, or adjust the measurements.
For the stock, I recommend using a concentrated kind and then adjusting the water-to-stock ratio according to taste, and how salty you like your soup. Personally, I think salt is delicious.
Beets (5-6 medium-sized)
Garlic (1.5 bulbs, adjust as desired)
Leek (about ¾ a forearm length, adjust as desired)
Shitake mushrooms (about half a paper bag)
Mushroom soup stock (Approx. 4-5 cups depending on how thick you like your soup)
Oregano and/or rosemary (a light sprinkling)
Cook the beets: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Give the beets a good wash, and then place them in a pan or casserole dish that can go in the oven with about ¼ inch of water in the bottom. Cover with tinfoil or its own lid or whatever you have that can serve the purpose of covering. This will need to bake for about an hour – they should be easily pierced by a fork when done.
You now have about 40 minutes to kill before you even think about the next steps. Put on some music, drink some wine, read a book, and have a snack. Or whatever you want to do.
Chop up the garlic as small as you can. Chop the leek however you’d like (I like it largeish for texture, but maybe you like it smaller.) Chop up the mushrooms into bits – I like them to be about the size of my middle fingernail, cubed-ish.)
When the beets are cooked, run them under some cold water so they cool off a bit and are easier to handle. When you can touch them, peel off some of the skin. You can keep most of it on – it’s all going in a blender anyways.
Chop into manageable pieces and liquefy those beets in a blender with about 3 cups of the soup stock. If you’re blender is small like mine, you will likely need to do a couple of rounds of this to blend up all the beets.
Dump the blended beets in a large pot. Add the rest of the broth, or just some of it, to taste. Bring to a simmer, then add the garlic, mushrooms, leeks, bay leaf, rosemary, and oregano.
Let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper if you desire. Now you have soup for days!