You’ve probably guessed that we’re big on soup. We each take a jar to work for our lunch every day and it’s always homemade. Yesterday’s trip to the garden gave us two onions, two zucchinis, a quart of Fortex beans, four gigantic Cylindra beets and plenty of kale. Kale borscht is today’s soup invention.

I cooked the beets the night before by covering them in water and simmering for 35 minutes. Then the skins slip off easily. I had to use my big canning kettle to hold four beets. They are seriously huge. One beet was enough for this recipe so I froze the rest in borscht-size quantities.

I’ll be honest. I was nervous about tasting this. We use kale for chips in the summer and salads in the winter, but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked it before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The soup turned out to be better than delicious. It could be my new favourite, at least for a while.

1-1/2 pounds beets – cooked, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
6 ounces of kale (by weight – about 10-12 big leaves)
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
8 cups stock or water
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Heat the oil in large stock pot. Add the chopped onions and celery and cook until soft. Add the cumin and garlic and cook 1 minute more. Meanwhile, strip the kale off the stalks and coarsely tear it up. Add the liquid and the kale, bring just to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the cooked, chopped beets. Puree in the pot using an immersion blender. Yield: 12 cups

Since I didn’t have any chicken stock on hand, I used water and simulated stock by adding 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and 1/2 tablespoon salt.

Cylindra Beet

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