I love beetroot, even though it’s not the very best when it comes to FODMAPs. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to resist the tartly sweet taste and that colour! This is a very simple recipe, I haven’t added any herbs or spices so you just get the intense beetroot flavour.
Soup is the ultimate in quick and easy dinners for nights when you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to cook - make a big batch of it when you do have time and you’ve got it in the fridge or freezer for just such days. Simply reheat, add a dollop of cottage cheese with black pepper, or yoghurt with cucumber, and serve with crusty nut bread or crunchy crackers (recipe to follow!).
I was taught to make soup with a base of carrots, leeks, onions and celery. You’d vary the proportions depending on the colour of the main vegetable: use only the white parts of the leeks if you didn’t want the green to interfere with a pale soup (like potato or cauliflower), but only the green parts if you wanted to boost the colour in a darker one (like pea or broccoli), and you’d adjust the number of carrots for subtlety as well, and so on. On a low-FODMAP diet, it’s best to avoid having too much celery; the recommendation is no more than half a stick at a time, so I still tend to use this in soups. However, on a low-FODMAP diet, leeks and onions are strictly out!
Fortunately, spring onions are the perfect substitute for an onion-y flavour - as long as you’re strict about removing the white FODMAP-containing bulb ends and only use the green parts. You could leave the spring onions out entirely if you don’t want them to interfere with the colour of a lighter soup - or cook them off with the rest of the base but remove them before blending.
Use whichever oil you prefer - either a light flavourless oil, or a rich olive oil, or even garlic-infused oil. You could equally use a knob of butter or coconut oil instead.
I will experiment with making a soup base without celery for a next-to-zero FODMAP-rating - recipes to follow!
FODMAP-rating: ok; this is not suitable for the elimination phase since it includes beetroot and celery.
Time: 1 hr 30 - about 20 minutes preparation and blending time, the rest of the time in the middle is cooking time.
- 1 bunch of beetroot - 3-4 medium beetroots
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 rib of celery, washed and chopped
- 3-4 spring onions, green parts only, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Stock cube (try and find one without onion; homemade is probably easier in that regard, or replace with Nam Pla (fish sauce) or other “umami” flavouring for depth)
- Peel the beetroot and cut into chunks. Put the chunks on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft all the way through. Allow to cool and chop into smaller chunks.
- Peel and chop the carrots into thin chunks, wash and chop the celery quite finely. Chop the white ends off the spring onions and discard, chop the green parts.
- Put 1-2 tbsp of your choice of oil into a heavy-bottomed pan (I use cast iron, but a heavy saucepan works just as well) and add the carrots, celery and spring onions.
- Sweat over a very low heat until soft, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking. You don’t want the veg to brown; put the lid on the pan to prevent the liquid from evaporating away so that the veg gently steams (“sweats”) rather than frying.
- When the base vegetables are soft, add in the beetroot, stock cube and enough hot water to cover. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until everything is cooked through and looking very pink!
- Allow to cool slightly, then blend in small batches for a few minutes to get the smoothest texture possible - then sieve! There should be next to nothing left in the sieve if everything has been cooked and blended enough.
- Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.