While waiting for all the new, tender vegetables of Spring, many Danes are busy cleaning out their vegetable binds for all of the winter root vegetables we have bought and haven’t used yet. Red beets are some of the root vegetables that help us through the dark winter days with its bright red color and earthy taste. They are one of the most popular root vegetables we have. We can get them fresh from the middle of summer until the temperature drops below freezing here in Denmark. Luckily, we can get them all year around and they can be kept in our vegetable binds like other root vegetables for a long time. We use them freshly grated in salads or cooked and sliced as a side dish. We also preserve them in vinegar and spices and use them as garnish for almost everything. They can be made into juice and taste especially good with apples which we also have a large assortment of. A favorite of mine, is to make soup with them.
BEET AND FENNEL SOUP WITH SHAVED FENNEL AND SOUP CREAM
4 soup servings
2 tbsp. rapeseed oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 fennel bulb, save 1/4 for shavings and chop coarsely remaining fennel
1½ tsp. fennel seeds
2 large beets, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
salt and freshly ground peper
4 tbsp. additional sour cream
To make the soup, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, 3/4 of the fennel and fennel seeds. Sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add beets and stir to coat. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until beets are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return to same saucepan. Whish in 1 cup sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Rewarm soup.
To serve, divide soup into bowls. Drizzle with additional sour cream, garnish with shavings of fennel and fennel fronds.
This recipe is good as starter for a dinner party.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH DEEP FRIED ONIONS AND SCALLOPS
1 butternut squash
2 tbsp. rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
juice of a lemon
juice of a small orange
3 oz. butter
1 cup vegetable bouillon
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
Deep fried onions and scallops:
2 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
2 cnions, cut into 1/4 inch thick rings
a few sprigs of lemon thyme (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 ° F.
To make the soup, peel and cube butternut squash and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in oven. Roast for approximately 30 minutes until squash is tender. Blend squash, lemon juice, orange juice, butter, milk, bouillon and sour cream until completely smooth. If soup is to thick, add more broth to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the deep fried onions and scallops, warm oil up. Dust onion rings and scallops lightly. Deep fry onions first. Using a wire mesh skimmer of slotted metel spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Deep fry scallops until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.
To serve, rewarm soup, divide the soup among bowls and place deep fried onions in the middle of each bowl. Place 2-3 scallops on top of onions. Garnish with lemon thyme.