Guest Post by Krista A. Parr
My Polish Babcia (Grandma) passed this recipe down to my mom, who passed it down to me. I’ve always loved it in late summer, as days are getting shorter and cooler and beautiful bunches of beets are plentiful at the farmer’s markets and in the garden. It’s a light soup, so it’s also appropriate for warmer summer days. Beets are high in boron, an important mineral for the production of sex hormones and, appropriately, in ancient Roman times beet juice was considered an aphrodisiac. Another important mineral for fertility and pregnancy is iron, which beets are literally bursting with. Keeping the liver in top working condition should be a priority for those trying to conceive, and beets stimulate the liver to eliminate toxins and excess hormones from the body as well as perform hundreds of other essential functions. Beet greens (the tops) are also incredibly nutritious, containing even more iron and calcium than the roots as well as very high levels of folic acid.
1 bunch young beets with greens (5 to 6 beets)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic (or more if you prefer), minced or chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery ,chopped
1 bay leaf
4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup fresh dill, chopped roughly
approx. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (enough to offset the sweetness of the beets and make the soup tangy)
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream (add to bowl when serving)
Cut beets off at stems.
Wash beets and slice into julienne strips. No need to peel fresh, young beets.
Wash greens and stems and chop and set aside.
In a soup pot heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden, adding a splash of water if they start to stick to the pan.
Add carrots and celery and sauté a few more minutes.
Add broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper, and julienned beets.
Bring to a boil, and then simmer about 15 minutes until beets are almost tender.
Add beet greens, stems, and apple cider vinegar and cook for about another 5 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning. You may need to add more salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to achieve your desired tangy-ness.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream in each bowl (optional)
Krista A. Parr is a Vancouver Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Root to Fruit Nutrition, specializing in fertility and women’s health. www.RootToFruitNutrition.ca