Monday, May 25, 2009

Beet and Merlot Soup

Yield: 6 servings

6 med/large cooked, peeled, and chopped beets)
8 shallots, chopped
1 c merlot
1 sprig fresh thyme
3T butter
1 qt vegetable stock
1/2 c heavy cream
12 1"x1" pieces gruyere cheese
12 sourdough croutons
6 t greek yogurt, thinned with about 2 t milk

Caramelize shallots in butter. Add red wine and reduce by ½. Add beets and thyme sprig, and broth, partially cover pot, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes, or until beets are very soft. Puree soup in a blender. Add cream and bring soup back to a simmer. Season with salt,pepper, and a touch of lemon juice if more acid is needed. (If an even smoother texture is desired, strain it through a medium-mesh strainer.)

Take your sourdough croutons and melt the gruyere on top (oven, toaster oven, microwave: your choice)

To serve, ladle soup into 6 bowls, top with a spoonful of the yogurt and two gruyere-topped croutons.

Note on the croutons: I made mine by slicing a thin Grace Bakery sourdough loaf very thin, brushing with melted butter, and toasting in the oven until light brown and crisp. These are bread slices, not the cubed kind you put in salad.

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