John's birthday is later this week, but we celebrated it on the weekend with his son G, DIL, and granddaughter Miss M. I prepared a "gourmet meal", which might not sound like much but it's a big deal around here. You see, I am one of the luckiest gals around...my husband does 95% of the cooking (lunch AND dinner too). So I go all out with homemade soup and fancy schmancy stuff that I don't usually do. This year we started with swirled beet and carrot soup....two soups side by side in one bowl. I must say...it was pretty fabulous! And it looked great too. So when you want to impress some guests, give this recipe a try. Trust me, it's easy. I made the soups a couple of days ahead and refrigerated them until the birthday celebration.
Swirled Beet and Carrot Soup(from compliments.ca/inspired)
2 tbsp Olive oil, divided
2 cups diced onion, divided
2 tbsp minced garlic, divided
3 cups each diced carrots and beets
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 carton (900 ml, 4 cups) chicken broth, sodium reduced, divided
3 cups water, divided
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
dash of pepper
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in each of two medium saucepans over medium heat. Add 1 cup onions to each pan; saute until translucent, about 3 min. Add 1 tbsp garlic to each; cook for 1 to 2 min. Add carrots and ginger to one saucepan; beets to the other; cook, stirring, for a few minutes.
2. Add half a carton of broth and 1 1/2 cups water to each pan. Turn up heat to medium-high and simmer for 35 minutes, or until veggies are soft.
3. Season both soups with thyme, salt and pepper. Working in batches, puree each soup separately, rinsing the blender or food processor in between to avoid colour transfer. (I use a hand held blender and blend the mixtures right in the pots).
4. Return both purees to their saucepans and add balsamic vinegar to beet soup. Warm over low heat 5 to 10 min. or until soups thicken. Serve by filling each bowl with half beet and half carrot soup (tip: I put the soups into separate creamer pitchers and with one in each hand poured the soups at the same time into each bowl).
Optional: garnish each bowl with 1 tsp sour cream and 1/2 tsp pesto.
DIL, John, me, Miss M, G with homemade chocolate cake filled with caramel sauce, whipped cream and topped with chocolate glaze. Yum!