Creamy Coconut & Roasted Beet Soup

March 2015

Being that anything dog related attracts me like shiny objects attract cats, I recently watched a special on dogs trained for advanced military assignments. These dogs were fearless, fiercely concentrated and lovingly loyal. The premier trainer expounded the power of a dog’s sense of smell. I shall paraphrase:

We laymen understand a canine nose to be a powerful sniffer, but what we don’t understand is how precise their noses are. It’s not just (and yes, this is a dog talking), “I smell stew cooking from across the house.” It’s “I smell stew cooking from across the house, and that stew contains celery, ribeye, herbs de provence, garlic, broth, dried mustard, etc.” This insight really propelled my imagination.

Beet Soup by With The Grains

If dogs could speak, imagine the pretentious foodie shaming that would ensue. Assuming talking dogs would be welcomed in fine restaurants, a dog could sit next to a known, pretentious foodie. Both would order a beautifully colored, beet soup. Blended, this beautiful beet soup’s ingredients would largely be a mystery. The foodie and the dog would both begin to eat, one with the appropriate, golden soup spoon, the other with an entire muzzle in the porcelain bowl. The foodie would rattle on and on, just loving the sound of his own voice and astute ingredient observations.

Beet Soup by With The Grains

The friendly dog, with the beet stains forming on his fur, would say, “yes, I particularly like the blending of coconut oil, caramelized onion, garlic, sweet potatoes and parsnips.”

“Oh yes, me too,” the deflated foodie would scramble to reply.

“What’s really tasty is the chicken flavor from the stock, as well as the stock’s celery accent.”

“Yes, I was going to say the same,” the foodie would boast transparently.

The dog would continue to parse each blended and masked ingredient, while the foodie would name drop other restaurants to change the subject. The dog would proceed to put his muzzle in the glass of sparkling water to drink, bite off the fine linen from his neck, then make his way to the dog park. At the park, this esteemed palate would sniff other dogs’ butts, and if feeling peckish after such a light lunch, possibly graze on some dog shit. Oh what a giant touché this would be to our food snobbery.

Beet Soup by With The Grains 01

For the time being, we food snobs are safe. Our canine companions cannot yet shame us with their superior sense of smell. The only shaming are those big puppy eyes that stare at everyone around the dining room table, waiting for a bit of beet soup to hit the floor. Now that I have lured you with thoughts of dog butts and dog shit, let’s make some soup!

Single-Grain

Happy Imagining!
-Quelcy

Creamy Coconut & Roasted Beet Soup with Pistachios & Greek Yogurt

About This Recipe: Warm yet bright and colorful, this is the perfect soup transition from winter to spring. Thick and creamy, I even recommend spreading some on a thick, rusty bread for a unique sandwich. To make this soup, you’ll need either an immersion blender, food processor or regular blender. The texture of the soup is up to you. I’m a big fan of ginger, so this recipe calls for a sizable chunk. Adjust according to your fancy. Substitute a vegetable stock in the base and coconut cream for the garnish to make this vegan.

Creamy Coconut & Roasted Beet Soup with Pistachios & Greek Yogurt
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil
1 local sweet onion, diced
4 local garlic cloves, minced
2-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and sliced

6 small beets (or 3 large), roasted, then peeled

1 large local parsnip, large dice
2 medium local sweet potatoes, peeled and large dice

4 cups homemade chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
1 (15 oz) can full-fat, organic coconut milk

Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper

Garnish

Full Fat Greek Yogurt
Chopped pistachios
Cilantro
Sliced Radishes

Directions

In a large dutch oven or large pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat.

Add onions, garlic and ginger, stirring often, until caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Add parsnips and sweet potatoes, and sauté for another 4-5 minutes, then add stock and coconut milk.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Add beets, and continue to simmer until parsnips and sweet potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Using an immersion hand blender or regular blender, blend soup until desired smoothness.

Garnish with a dollop or swirl of Greek yogurt, chopped pistachios, greens and fresh radishes.

Enjoy!

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