You would think, by now, I might have run out of things to say about beetroot, wouldn’t you? I’ve covered them in detail here, here, here and here. Oo and here too. Perhaps there’s a beetroot marketing board I should talk to…
And yet here we are in January and I find myself blessed, still, with beetroot from the patch. Admittedly it’s a bit battered and woody in parts, but it’s still perfectly good for juicing, smoothies and, in the weather warrants today, soup.
Now, I know mackerel crumble sounds a bit high-brow for G&G Towers. But beetroot goes wonderfully with oily fish. Plus all soups like a bit of crunch to give variety to the otherwise repetitive texture. So stick with it. It takes the soup to a whole new level.
- 500g beetroot
- 1 handful breadcrumbs
- 10g butter
- sprig of thyme
- 2 smoked mackerel fillets
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche
- Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Wrap the beetroot tightly in tin foil and roast in the oven for a good 2 hours (especially if your beets are huge like mine). The beetroot must be well cooked through. Remove, open the parcel and, once cool enough to handle, peel.
Chop the beetroot into chunks and add around 300 ml of water and season. Yes, I know it sounds a bit austere but do you want beetroot soup to taste of beetroot or of chicken stock? Exactly. Blitz in a blender or with a hand whizzer until smooth, adding more water if needed to create a velvety smooth soup. Clean down the kitchen of the inevitable beetroot blood splattered far and wide.
Warm the soup over a low heat and adjust the seasoning. Do not boil.
For the crumble, pop the breadcrumbs, butter and leaves of the thyme sprigs into a food processor. Peel the skin off one of the mackerel fillets and flake it into the processor too. Season with salt and pepper and whizz until well combined. Now get a large frying pan on a medium to high heat and toast the mixture until golden brown. Leave it unattended at your peril, the crumbs burn easily.
To serve, pour the hot soup into warmed bowls. Swirl in a spoon of creme fraiche, add a few flakes of mackerel on top and sprinkle over the crumble. Serve quickly before the crumble goes soft.
For still more beetroot recipes see the G&G Cookbook and Growing Guide. Plug. Shameless.
Incidentally, The recipe above is only accidentally healthy. I cannot abide this January new-you-detox-eating nonsense. I don’t need a new me and I wasn’t toxic in the first place. Next week – butter and booze, I promise.
Oo, and another thing. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions (they only serve to highlight ones failings I find). However, were I to make one for 2016 it would be to give the G&G blog some more love. So here’s hoping for a few more posts this year…