Beet and Leek Soup
I’ve stopped feeling perpetually hungry. That’s what I always felt throughout the week consuming only fruit, vegetables, and nuts/oil. I knew I’d dive back into the world of carbs and protein sometime Friday. It started with a mediocre turkey sandwich. Well, half of it. That’s all I could finish. It left me feeling a little off—head woozy, stomach uncomfortable—for a good 15-20 minutes after eating it. I’m sure my stomach wasn’t really sure what to do with the new substances. The rest of my night consisted of a piece of cactus candy, two iced teas, an arancini [fried rice ball filled with mozzarella], some sauteed chicken with olive oil, olives, and caramelized red onions. The chicken was absolutely melt in your mouth. The red onions sweet and punchy. The olives the perfect amount of salt. I swooned with every single bite. I finished the night off with a small [read: 8oz] glass of Lagunitas Cappucino Stout. Today, a chorizo breakfast burrito smothered in avocado salsa and some chicken and vegetable curry.
I kept expecting to generally feel like hell, crumble beneath gastrointestinal issues, curl up into the fetal position and cry, but none of that happened. I found myself eating slower, savoring flavors. I found myself extremely aware of salt content. I found myself constantly reaching for my water glass. In short, it was a new experience to the same ol’ food I’ve known and loved. My portions stayed smaller thanks to a smaller stomach. I have a fonder appreciation for what I’m shoveling in my mouth. The only unforeseen side effect of all this is I’ve noticed how much more protein and carbs make me hiccup and/or want to burp. It’s bizarre. I have to admit it was a little comforting digging into a fat plate of veggies with the curry tonight.
One of these jars of beet soup that didn’t get eaten the other night is sitting in the fridge at work. I fully intend to eat it on Monday. It’s such a rich, velvety soup without a single bad ingredient in it. The original recipe had you roasting beets, but I cracked open two of the jars of canned beets my grandma gave me. Talk about a time saver. All I had to do was roast some garlic. While pureeing the soup in the food processor, it became very apparent that the bowl of the processor had cracked. No, my kitchen didn’t look like a bloody murder scene, but it was definitely on the verge. Luckily, no soup was sacrificed. The processor is a hand-me-down from my grandma—a Regal Moulinex La Machine II. Thank god for eBay. I was able to pick up another bowl. I don’t use the processor that often to justify buying a fancy one, and frankly it’s pretty rad to have something that old that works really well.
PS – Remember to take the bay leaf out before you puree. Not that I forgot or anything…
Inspiration: Whole Living
- 3-4 medium beets [or two jars/cans of beets]
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling
- 2-3 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- If you’re going to roast your beets, scrub them and cut the tops off. Drizzle them in oil and wrap in a foil packet.
- Make another foil packet of your unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle them with garlic, too.
- The beets will take about an hour, the garlic 30 minutes. Plan accordingly.
- Peel and quarter your beets if you roasted them.
- Pop the garlic out of their peels once they’re cool enough to touch.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium until a drop of water sizzles.
- Add the leeks. Stir to coat with oil.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are nice and soft—about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the beets, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and water. I started with 2 cups and increased it to 2 1/2 when done. I wanted a thicker soup.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and remove from heat.
- Puree the soup with your favorite method–food processor, blender, etc.
- Return to the pot and stir in the lemon juice.
- Taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Do a little dance if you didn’t get any on your clothes.