I’m in a soup making mood and that explains my pure of heartiness. Blame it on the weather, flu season or just craving a warm bowl of healthy goodness. In any case in the last week alone I’ve made homemade Miso Soup, Sweet Potato & Lentil, Bone Broth and last night for the first time, Thai Beet Soup. What I look for is nutritional value, tastiness, uniqueness and lastly (it is soup) presentation. I think this one falls into all those categories. It was delicious. The beets make this a colourful and liver supporting meal. The beautiful Thai flavours are also full of antioxidants. See bottom for health benefits of select ingredients. If you make it, I’d love your feedback.
THAI BEET SOUP
5 medium beets – peel if not organic and chop into bite size pieces
2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
4 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups (1 liter) vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
2 Tbsp. ginger, grated
1 stalk *lemongrass, discard outer dry leaves and mince the bottom (1/3 of stalk)
2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk
1 Tbsp. tamari (or low sodium soy sauce if you don’t have tamari)
1 tsp. raw honey
2 limes, juiced
½ tsp. unrefined salt (try Himalayan)
¼ cup cilantro for garnish (or try fresh dill)
Preheat oven to 350F. Place beets in baking dish and cover the bottom of the dish with ½ inch of water (to prevent from drying out). Cover and bake until tender – approx. 45 minutes or until a fork can easily be inserted into middle.
Once beets are ready, melt coconut oil in large pot over medium heat.
Add shallots and garlic, cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
For the remainder of the lemongrass that is inedible (outer leaves and upper portion), you can bruise/pound them with a mortar to release the oils and add to the soup whole for extra flavour. Of course remove them when soup is done.
Add the beets and the rest of the ingredients, except for the cilantro or dill if using. Simmer until heated through.
Serve in bowls and garnish with cilantro or dill. You can add a dollop of yogurt if you like to make it more like a borscht.
If you prefer a pureed soup, you can use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Just remove the bruised lemongrass first.
*Lemongrass can be substituted for lemon zest (zest of ½ lemon = 1 stalk of lemongrass).
Nutritional Value of Select Ingredients
Beets: The beetroot is an excellent source of folic acid, and a great source of fibre, manganese and potassium. It is an excellent tonic for the liver, has anti-cancer properties, increases bowel function and decreases cholesterol levels. The greens are even higher in nutritional value than the roots; they are rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
Garlic: Garlic is touted as a “cure-all” due to its many uses in medicine. It has a beneficial effect on heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases. It decreases cholesterol levels, detoxifies the body, stimulates the immune system, and the list goes on and on. It’s more beneficial if you smash it or at least chop it beforehand to let the oxygen get to it and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before using.
Ginger: This root is an excellent remedy for nausea, morning sickness, upset stomach, indigestion, vomiting, motion sickness, and cramps. It helps to lower blood pressure, reduce fever, prevent internal blood clots, etc. Who ever knew that something so medicinal could be so tasty!