The color of this soup is fabulous -- a brilliant yellow-gold. Look for freshly harvested, sweet, small beets; a farmers' market or CSA box is your best bet. Old, woody beets will make a bitter, earthy-tasting soup. A pinch of ground fennel seed is a nice addition. You can also use this recipe with traditional, red/pink beets! It's just a different color! 1½ lbs. golden beets (weight without greens) 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white and pale green part only 1 clove garlic, minced Approximately 5½ c. chicken or vegetable stock 1/3 to ½ c. crème fraîche Salt and freshly ground white pepper Thinly sliced chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400º. Put the beets in a baking dish with about ¼”of water. Cover and bake until tender when pierced, 45 mins to 1 hr. Cool, then peel, taking care to remove every trace of peel or the soup may have an earthy taste. Quarter beets. Melt the butter in a lg. saucepan over moderate heat. Add the leeks and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 mins. Add the garlic and sauté briefly to release its fragrance, then add the beets and 4 cups of the stock. Bring to a simmer. Cover and adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Purée the soup in batches in a blender. Return to a clean saucepan and reheat. Thin to desired consistency with additional stock. Whisk in crème fraiche to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among warm bowls, garnishing each portion with chives.
Serves 6 From sfgate.com from several years ago and submitted by Eatwell CSA member Erika Dokman