On Friday I had my monthly bread and soup night. When people came in and saw the soup, they said, “It’s red!” It’s true. It’s red and cold. And why would I serve cold, red soup? Why not?
We had been having very hot weather, sometimes record heat for at least a couple of weeks. The idea of making hot soup was just not appealing, even if it were to be made in a slow cooker. And I didn’t decide until after lunch that I would even be having a soup night… as so many of my friends were gone – on vacation, or even out of the country.
When one of my friends stopped by to say they were coming, and they had asked others to come, I decided to go ahead with the soup. (I had the ingredients and didn’t want them to go bad anyways).
At the grocery store I was attracted by a few seasonal, red items in the produce area. I picked up some beets, swiss chard (the stems are red), tomatoes, and a pomegranate. I thought they sounded like an interesting combination. I didn’t want something that would be bitter. And they looked pretty.
Here is my red veggie soup:
I took my little portable oven out unto my balcony so I could roast the beets and the swiss chard. I didn’t want that heat in my home. Those were the only items I cooked.
I roasted the whole beets by putting olive oil on them, wrapping them in foil, then putting them into a 375-400 F degree oven until they were soft (times can vary greatly depending on the size and the age of the beets). Once they were ready I easily peeled them and let them cool off.
In the meantime I prepared the swiss chard. Here are the simple instructions with photos: http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-prepare-swiss-chard-00412000074774/ I folded each leaf in half length-wise and cut the stem off. I then took several at a time and rolled them up like a cigar, slicing them into sections, and then cutting them across so the pieces would be small.
I put them on a cookie sheet, dribbled them with oil, and put them into the oven along with the beets for about 15 minutes.
Red Veggie Soup
Makes approximately 11 to 12 cups of soup.
- 5 medium beets roasted in olive oil
- 4 cups sliced and roasted swiss chard
- 1 pomegranate, seeds only
- 4 cups orange juice
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 6 tomatoes
Place all items except tomatoes into the blender (in batches) until it reaches the desired consistency. Dice tomatoes and add to soup. Chill for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
The verdict? “Interesting. Different, not what I was expecting. Very refreshing. Wow, this is really good!”
This is a light, nutritional powerhouse of a soup, yet a little of it goes a long way. I will definitely make this again. It’s also really good the next day.