This soup is a looker: beautifully crimson and quite thick. It can be served hot or cold. From Debbie Amster, a holistic health coach, cooking teacher and healthful-foods caterer based in Olney, Md.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound (4 small) red beets, peeled
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut crosswise in half
28 ounces canned plum tomatoes, drained
4 1/2 cups no-salt-added vegetable or chicken broth
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 or 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Sour cream or yogurt, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Add the beets, carrots, tomatoes, broth and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 1 hour, adjusting the heat so the liquid is just barely bubbling around the edges.
Use an immersion (stick) blender, and blend briefly to a coarse puree. (Alternatively, If you use a blender, transfer in batches; remove the center knob from the lid and cover the opening with a towel to contain splash-ups.)
Stir in the pepper, lemon juice, parsley and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Serve hot or cold, garnished with sour cream or yogurt.
Per 1-cup serving (using vegetable broth): 140 calories, 3 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 12 g sugar
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