Roasted Beetroot, Chilli and Fennel Seed Soup

All hail praise to the humble beetroot! What you can’t do with a beetroot can be written on the back of a postage stamp! It’s funny, because only up until a relatively short time ago (say 10 years ago) I could genuinely say that the only time I ever ate beetroot was pickled from a jar! Almost all my life, I actually thought that the only way you could eat beetroot was pickled from a jar! Didn’t stop me loving it though – I am a bit of a pickle addict! For any of us who would have had a similar culinary experience of beetroot as a child, this humble vegetable has seen a somewhat resurgence in our day to day food.

Pickling is no longer the only thing worth doing to a beetroot, and the emergence of more and different varieties making their way into farmers and super markets means that we can be ever more adventurous with our beets!  As with all good veg, you can eat the whole plant too!  If you can get your hands on beetroots with the greens still intact then this is a bonus, as beet leaves can be eaten the same way as chard and spinach and, like its vartietal cousins, these leaves are also jammed packed with goodness!  The health benefits of eating beetroot are still being uncovered, but what we do know is that this is a great tasting vegetable of which we should be eating loads of and especially during its abundant harvesting season!

This little soup recipe of mine is a guaranteed winner – even if I do say so myself!  There is a surprising lack of ingredients that go into making this soup which means that you can taste each and every one of them: the warmth from the chilli, the earthiness of the beetroot and the fennel seed bringing an aromatic cuddle that works amazingly well together.  Also the colour of the soup from the beetroot is not diluted meaning that the colour instantly uplifts you before you have even tasted it!  It freezes exceptionally well, so there’s nothing stopping you from buying a Big Bunch of Beautiful Beets and making a job lot to freeze down and help you through the winter months ahead!

Ingredients (makes about 6 servings):

  • 3-4 good sized beetroot (about the size of your hand, if they are small you will need more)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed in their skins
  • 1/2 red chilli
  • 2tsp of fennel seeds
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Smoked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500ml vegetable stock


  • Heat the oven to 180 degs celsius
  • Peel the beetroot and chop into medium sized chunks (halved, halved and halved again should be perfect)
  • Place onto a lined baking try and add the chopped red chilli, fennel seed, garlic, rapeseed oil, salt and pepper.
  • Toss everything together to ensure it is well coated and place in the oven until the beetroot is cooked through.
  • Give the beetroot mix a stir about half way through the total cooking time which will be about an hour.
  • Place everything, and I mean everything, into a blender and add 400ml of vegetable stock.
  • Blitz, then check for texture.  If slightly too thinkm, add the remaining 100ml of stock.
  • Check for seasoning, adjust if necessary and blitz again to combine.

And that’s it!  Either portion some off for later or to freeze, or serve up immediately piping hot with a small dollop of creme fraiche, a slice of chilli and a small frong of fresh fennel herb.


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