Beetroot soup with broad beans & flatbread

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One way to love vegetables has got to be to play with texture. I love a soup that’s blended, thick with soothing vegetably textures and then topped with something a little firmer, a little more whole – such as these lightly fried broad beans. It’s a good little trick. Then eating is often about texture. And temperature. Cool yoghurt and feta from the fridge topping a hot soup. Flatbread that’s both doughy and crisp at once. Yep, contrasting textures have got to be one of the things that makes food – pretty much any food – truly delicious.

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This soup is the simplest, easiest thing ever. I’m reluctant to even call it a recipe. It’s just pre-cooked beetroots, a little onion, garlic and rosemary. A touch of tomato puree. Seasoning. Stock. That’s it. To be honest I can say the same about the flatbread. It seems like cheating. Just mix yoghurt, bread and a touch of baking powder. Bring together, roll out (no kneading or resting!) and fry. That’s it! It’s the little extra touches I’ve added that make it a little more special.. a flavoured olive oil and a broad bean/feta topping.

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You will need:

For the flatbread

100g self raising flour
100g natural yoghurt
1/2 tspn baking powder

For the beetroot soup

360g cooked beetroot (not pickled)
1 tbspn plain flour
3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbspn tomato puree
Salt, pepper
Olive oil, to fry

Plus (for the oil and soup topping)

1 sprig of rosemary
3 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, whole and in their skins but bashed
2 tbspns frozen broad beans
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tbspn feta cheese, to serve
1 tbspn yoghurt, to serve
A little sea salt

Method:

For the flatbread

1 – Mix together the flour, yoghurt and baking powder until  it all comes together nicely
2 – Roll into a smooth ball and place in a floured bowl – cover with a plate while you make the soup, until ready to fry the breads
3 – Divide the dough into four pieces and roll out (2-3mm thick) with a floured rolling pin on a floured surface
4 – Cut around 4 slices into the centre of each flatbread and get a frying pan on to heat over a high flame
5 – Make the flavoured oil before you cook the breads. Heat together the olive oil with the whole garlic cloves and rosemary sprig until fragrant then decant the oil into a jug to cool (don’t discard the rosemary and garlic! You’ll need these below!)
6 – Cook the breads one by one by frying in the dry hot pan for around 1-2 minutes on each side, until puffed up and charred lightly on each side
7 – Set the breads aside onto a plate once cooked and immediately brush with flavoured olive oil prepared earlier – season lightly with salt

For the beetroot soup

1 – Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and rosemary; cook briefly over a medium heat then stir in the garlic, followed by the tomato puree
2 – Cook out for 5 minutes before adding the beetroots, followed shortly after by the flour
3 – Gradually whisk the stock into the beetroot mix to avoid clumping, bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes
4 – Remove the soup from the heat and blend then return to the heat to simmer gently until ready to serve (10 minutes or so is fine!)
5 – Boil the frozen broad beans, drain and discard their skins
6 – Then grab the pan in which you’ve made your flavoured oil (including rosemary and garlic) and add a little more oil before tipping in the podded broad beans and spring onions
7 – Fry for a minute or so while you ladle your soup into bowls
8 – Top the soup with yoghurt and feta, if using, then the fried beans and onions (you can discard the garlic and rosemary)
9 – Serve immediately with warm, oily flatbreads

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10 thoughts on “Beetroot soup with broad beans & flatbread

  1. The colour of this soup is absolutely stunning. I wouldn’t even mind if it was tasteless (I’m sure it’s not, with all of those delicious ingredients), just because it’s so beautiful!

    1. Well, you eat with your eyes first so you’re right, if it looks pretty you don’t have to quite rely on taste so much. Bet there’s some study somewhere that proves that! Despite a very short list of ingredients thought it was delicious. Tastes of beetroot – as it should!

  2. Kind of goes without saying how alluring the colour of this soup is. When I have made beet soup in the past I have found it a bit sweet…I think I may up the quantity of roasted garlic and tomato then dip some of this light and fluffy looking flatbread into it x

    1. Yes it is quite sweet! That’s why I like the contrast with the salty feta, bitter yoghurt and savoury flatbreads. I’m a sucker for sweet things :-) I’d definitely say adding fresh tomatoes would help reduce the sweetness. Especially big ones that’s aren’t too sweet!

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