Golden Beet Soup with Dilled Goat Cheese Cream

With distinct nuances of caraway and celery, feathery dill complements both earthy beets and tangy fresh goat cheese.  Golden beets are sweet like their crimson cousins, but they have a finer, milder flavor that is key to this silky soup. 

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 medium golden beets (about 2½ pounds total weight), greens removed
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato
  • ¼ pound fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup half & half, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus leaves for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups homemade or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Pinch sugar, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap the beets and potato together in a large sheet of aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until the vegetables are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 1 hour. Open the foil and let cool.  When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins and chop both.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the goat cheese, ¼ cup of the half & half, lemon juice, minced dill, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.  Using a fork, vigorously beat the ingredients until blended and pourable, but thick (texture should be similar to that of whole-milk yogurt).  Adjust the consistency with half & half if needed.
  3. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds.  Add the broth, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.  Add the chopped beets and potato, reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and cook to blend flavors, about 15 minutes.
  4. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and process to a smooth purée.  Return the purée to a clean pot.  Add the vinegar, 1½ teaspoons of salt, pepper to taste, and the remaining ½ cup half & half, place over medium-low heat and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 10 minutes.  
  5. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings, adding the sugar if desired.  Ladle it into warmed bowls, garnish each serving with a dollop of the dilled goat cheese cream mixture and a few dill leaves, and serve right away. 
Kate Sears Photo