Roasted Carrot & Beetroot Soup with Rocket Pesto
It has been cold in Sydney! When the weather is chilly, I love nothing more than tucking into a warm bowl of soup, for dinner or for lunch. Soup is a great thing to make as it keeps in the fridge, or even better in the freezer. You can pull it out after a long day and you have an instant healthy, tasty and nutritious meal that fills you up and makes you feel really good on the inside. Even more importantly it’s a sinch to make. The less time spent in the kitchen during the week the better!
I had lots of lovely feedback from my last cauliflower soup post, so thought it was a good idea to put up another soup recipe before the weather warms up and it’s salad season. Beetroots are plentiful and really great at the moment, so are carrots, which make the base for this soup. I always like to add a dollop of something to contrast with the flavours of a soup, like a rich Greek yoghurt or a spicy chilli sambal. The carrot and beetroot soup is lovely and sweet, so for this I like to make a bite-y rocket pesto to accompany. It takes all of 2 minutes to make and really lifts the dish. Often there will be left overs of the pesto, it is great on a sandwich or dolloped onto a salad the next day.
I am really enjoying the mature bunches of rocket rather than the baby rocket this winter. Rocket is high in vitamin A and C and is a rich source of iron. It is quite peppery so is not for the faint hearted! Not only does it add a kick to your meal, it is great nutritionally to add to any dish.
1 large bunch beetroot, usually 3-4 large ones
2 large carrots
1 medium sized Spanish onion
700ml vegetable stock
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp hot paprika
Generous pinch sea salt
1 bunch rocket
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Pinch sea salt
HOW IT’S DONE
Peel the beetroot and onion, roughly chop along with the carrot and place into a baking dish. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and pop into a fan forced oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and place into a large bowl along with the vegetable stock, salt and spices. Puree with a stick blender until lovely and smooth. The colour is amazing! If you like a thinner soup, add a little more of the stock. You may find if you use really large beetroots and carrots you will need to do so.
For the pesto, place the rocket, pistachios, sea salt and olive oil in a food processor and blitz for 1 minute. The rocket should be finely minced up and the nuts still a little chunky. I like to use pistachios however you could use pine nuts, macadamia nuts or almonds. Plate the pesto up and finish with a little more olive oil.
Serve the two together and enjoy! This will feed two very hungry people or 4 people with a little bread on the side.
Photography by Andy Stavert