Four years ago, give or take a month or two, we posted our first recipe Garam Marsala. When I think back to the early days of Our Kitchen, it really does feel like it was just yesterday. There were hurdles aplenty that we never really believed we’d be lucky enough to overcome. The biggest of which was certainly convincing
our bosses that dropping the (metaphorical) tools to write recipes was a good use of our time!
I remember the very first shoot I did. I had never before written a recipe, nor had I ever styled or photographed food. I spent the afternoon cooking beetroot soup and an orange chocolate cake, sporadically pausing to shoot ingredients. I had beetroot and onions artfully arranged on a chopping board on Mum’s floor, and struggled with the exposure as sunlight poured in through her north facing windows! By the time I had finished cooking and had plated each recipe the light had waned and I found myself shooting on the white dining room table under a row of fluorescent lights. Needless to say the resulting photos were rather disappointing.
Four years have passed however and I have learnt a thing or two about light and the way it travels across the sky, rendering scenes subtly differently as morning gives way to afternoon and summer to winter. My collection of props, much to my boyfriend’s dismay, is ever-expanding, much like the drawers and cupboards I acquire to carefully house it all. And so it is, armed with props, a better understanding of light and a shiny new lens or two that I finally feel ready to capture and share this beetroot soup recipe. I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!
Serves 6Beetroot Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1kg beetroot, chopped into 2cm cubes
200g potato, chopped into 2cm cubes
500ml beef stock
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp sumac
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 level tsp salt
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot and saute the onion and garlic until soft. I cooked it for 10 minutes or so at this stage to bring out the sweetness in the onions. Make sure not to let them brown however.
2. Add the beetroot and the potato and cook for a minute or two before adding the stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the beetroot and potato are nice and soft.
3. Season with salt and pepper then blend.
1. In a mortar and pestle pound together the thyme leaves and the salt. Then add the sumac and sesame seeds and stir.
2. Store in an airtight container.
1. Spoon the soup out into hot bowls, top with a spoon of yoghurt, a swirl of good quality olive oil and a sprinkle of za'atar.