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Coconut and Beetroot Soup

A delightful pink soup with a combination of earthy and spicy flavours. Served with a herbed yoghurt and crusty bread rolls, this soup is a great winter warmer.

Coconut and Beetroot Soup
Ingredients
For the spice paste
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded (see notes)
  • 5 cm knob fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • juice of 1 lime
For the soup
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 500 g cooked beetroot, chopped (see notes)
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 400 ml can coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For herbed yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 cm cucumber, deseeded, finely chopped
  • garlic chives, finely chopped, for garnish
  • crusty bread rolls, to serve
Instructions
  1. For the spice paste, put all the paste ingredients into a food processor and blend until very smooth.
  2. For the soup, heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots, salt and cumin seeds and fry gently for a few minutes until the shallots have softened. Add the spice paste and cook for about five minutes to release the fragrance.
  3. Add the beetroot and cook for two minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  4. For the herbed yoghurt, mix the fresh mint, coriander and cucumber into the yoghurt.
  5. Just before serving, put the soup and coconut milk into a food processor and blend until smooth (see notes).
  6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. To serve, reheat the soup gently for a few minutes.
  8. Pour into bowls and gently mix in some of the herbed yoghurt. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with crusty bread rolls.
Notes
Leave chilli seeds in for more heat
Don't combine the yoghurt and soup in advance or the colour will turn brownish
Fresh beetroot is best, however if using canned beetroot make sure it is not the kind prepared with vinegar

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