Oh readers, it’s been a year – figuratively and literally – since I made my last post. I won’t bore you with the details about what happened during this time frame (an amazing excursion to France and Italy, a Grammy nomination, and homemade pasta, which you saw if you follow me on Instagram), but there were some job changes for both Roark and myself that made it difficult to be in my kitchen, let alone use my camera, food photo props, and Word Press.
But then there are the expectations that one puts on them self. ‘If I can’t do two posts a week, why do it at all?’ ‘If I can’t take the most perfect photos, is it even worth the bother?’ The list goes on…but I’m back today with a renewed sense of enthusiasm to share the exciting things going on in my kitchen! And with a healthy attitude to post when I can and to provide the best quality I am capable of at that time — because it’s more about the progress than the perfection, right? I hope you agree, and if so, that brings me to today’s post.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend a benefit for Angles on Earth, a cancer wellness program here in Atlanta. The luncheon focused on “The Power To Heal” and brought together an interesting, and forward-thinking panel including a doctor, mindfulness coach, and chef. I took away so much from that day, including this amazing Roasted Beet Soup recipe, which was served as our starter during lunch.
As you may know, the darker, more vibrant colors in vegetables and fruits clue you into the mass amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they contain, making them nutritional powerhouses. Because of that, this soup was a perfect fit for the luncheon’s theme. Before pureeing, the beets are roasted with an apple and some green onion, giving the soup an earthy, yet sweet flavor. I added these Caramelized Onion Tartines to the plate since the hummus spread on them provides a source of plant protein to help keep me full.
It’s funny how the more you take care of your body, the more it wants you to do so. It will crave nutrient dense foods, or a workout, or in my case, 15 minutes of quite meditation in the morning. This was something that Miller Union Chef, Steven Satterfield, spoke about in the panel regarding his personal fight against cancer.
While most of us might not be sick, our bodies are in a constant state of repair and need the proper care, both physically and nutritionally, to perform its functions correctly. My take away from the luncheon (and life recently) was to focus on progress not perfection, especially in the fight against cancer. So, in your daily life, treat yourself to something healthy, and focus on taking care of yourself. The great news is, once we get started, our body will show us the rest of the way!
- 3 Large Red Beets, halved
- 1 Large Crisp Cored Apple (like Gala or Honey Crisp), halved
- 2 Green Onions, white parts only
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 3 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Apple Cider
- 1½ tsp Fine Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Freshly Ground Pepper, White Pepper suggested
- 1 French Baguette
- Handful of Fennel Fronds, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 tsp Orange Zest
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fine Sea Salt and Pepper
- 1 Cup of Plain Hummus
- 1 Can of Pitted Black Olives, drained, rinsed, and chopped
- 4 oz of Feta Cheese
- Place the beets, apple, and onion on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the 1 Tbsp olive oil and place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes at 400F. You will know when they are done when a fork is easily pushed into the beets.
- Meanwhile, put a large skillet on medium low heat and drizzle with 1 tbs of olive oil. Add the red onion slices and let them sweat until they start to brown and caramelize, stirring occasionally. The lower and longer the heat the better. This should take at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and peel the beets and apple. I use a knife for the beets and actually scrape out the apple with a spoon. Place them with the onion in a blender with the vegetable broth and puree completely.
- Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and add the apple cider, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and cook for a about 15 minutes.
- While the soup cooks, cut ½ inch slices of the baguette and place them on another sheet pan in the oven. Toast for 3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove and let cool.
- Assemble the relish for the soup by combining the fennel fronds, orange juice, orange zest, 1 tsp of olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Assemble the tartines by slathering a teaspoon of hummus on each slice of bread. Then add some of the caramelized onions on top and sprinkle with the olives and feta.
- Serve the soup in bowls with a bit of the relish drizzled in the middle along with the tartines on a large plate.