Buckwheat and Beet Soup

Cooking With Ancient Grains

Buckwheat and Beet Soup

Yields: 4 servings

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups chopped red onion (1 medium)
¾ tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
¼ tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp dried savory or ½ tsp more dried thyme
¾ cup raw buckwheat groats (not kasha)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups raw shredded beets, preferable red (1 large or 2 small)
1 to 2 tsp honey
2 tsp sherry vinegar, or more as needed

Horseradish Yogurt

¾ cup whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp retail horseradish, with liquid
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

To make the soup, heat a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Swirl in the oil and wait until it shimmers.

Add the onion and ¼ tsp of the salt. Stir occasionally, until the onion just starts to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and the herbs thyme and savory, and then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Watch closely, so as not to burn the pieces.

Stir in the buckwheat groats and cook, stirring occasionally and monitoring, until the grains take on some color, about 2 minutes.

Add the broth (beware of splatter), the remaining ½ tsp salt and the pepper and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan.

Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the buckwheat is tender, about 15 minutes.

While it simmers, prepare the horseradish yogurt topping: Combine the horseradish, salt and pepper in a small bowl and beat until smooth using a fork. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

To finish, stir in the beets and 1 tsp of the honey and then add about 1 cup water to reach a preferred consistency.

Remove the pot from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes until the vegetables soften.

Add the vinegar and taste for seasoning. Depending on the beets’ sweetness, maybe add another teaspoon of honey and a bit more vinegar to balance it, and perhaps a tad more salt and pepper. The seasoning is forgiving because the topping will bring the flavors together.

Ladle the soup into four bowls, garnish with a dollop of the yogurt topping and serve at once.

All recipes adapted from Simply Ancient Grains or Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, by Maria Speck, courtesy of Ten Speed Press.