Here’s something you don’t see every day: a beetroot soup that’s not borsch!

Coleslaw and curry leaves

This wonderful root vegetable is one of the main culprits of perhaps the most overused word in modern foodie vocabulary: ‘earthy’. I’ve been looking for a definition of this term in most modern dictionaries but none exists. I think we can safely say that the word is associated, in food terms, with any vegetable that is grown in the soil. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, carrots; they all have that ‘earthy’ quality.

There’s no getting away from it: beets are the epitome of ‘earthiness’, however you choose to define it. Not only that, there’s also an inherent sweetness of this bulbous and violently purple vegetable. Nutritionally, they are full of anti-oxidants known to reduce to levels of free radicals in the blood, with good levels of magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C.

For cooking, beetroot lends itself to so many dishes: beetroot soup (or ‘borscht’ in Eastern Europe), spiced Indian dishes, risottos…

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