This is a tasty, comfort food that turns your pee pink!
Beetroot can be in season from late spring and on through the winter. It’s great for blood pressure and being adaptogenic in this regard it can lower high pressure and raise low blood pressure. It’s got good levels of dietary fibre and minerals manganese and potassium.
Thinking about the six tastes in this soup, its sweet, earthy taste is grounding. This is combined with the slight bitterness of rosemary and the umami of the tahini on the chickpeas. Lemon juice added at the end gives the sour, pepper a slight pungency, and some salt. Because this soup has rice in it, with the pulse you get a full complement of amines, making it a source of protein as well as all round deliciousness.
Ingredients (for 4 – 6)
for the chick pea topping:
- 125g chickpeas soaked overnight with either a pinch of bicarbonate of soda or a strip of kombu seaweed worth investing in a packet if you are going to cook beans often; for advice on cooking pulses see vivekagardens.com/bean-feast OR 1 tin of chick peas drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 6 sprigs or so of flat leaf parsley chopped (optional)
- salt to taste
for the soup:
- 1 -2 tablespoons oil
- 3 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
- 5 or 6 medium beetroot (800g – 1kg) peeled and chopped into 3cm cubed pieces, roughly
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary or two of fresh, chopped roughly
- 10 – 15 turns of the pepper grinder
- 200g rice (not too important what kind)
- 2L boiling water
- juice of a large lemon
- Drain the chickpeas and kombu (keep that in), cover well with water and boil hard for a good 10 minutes. Then gently boil for up to forty minutes hours or an hour til one squishes quite easily between finger and thumb. Drain, discard the kombu to the compost and mix with the other ingredients. Whilst still warm scramble together with the olive oil and tahini, salt and parsley. OR, open the tin, drain and rinse, heat in the oil and scramble as before.
- fry off the celery in the oil for a couple of minutes then add the beetroot and rosemary, stirring for 4- 5 minutes
- add the boiling water from the kettle, bring to the boil then a strongish simmer for up to an hour til a sharp knife goes in easily and leaves the beetroot behind as you pull the knife away. Half way through, add the rice. You may need to add more boiling water as the rice swells to get the consistency you want.
- Blend, add lemon juice and salt to taste.