CUMIN BEETROOT SOUP

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I loved this soup when I discovered it at the COMO Metropolitan Hotel on Park Lane. Part of the food offering designed by their in-house spa it was exactly what I needed for dinner moments before doing a sound bath for one of the #360 Me events hosted by Psychologies Magazine. Tomorrow I'll be doing an intro talk on Ayurveda before handing over to my friend Shaman Durek for a brilliant workshop to 'Know who you are' and I've requested this soup to be served again. I actually couldn't wait until tomorrow so I requested the recipe (which came in bulk quantities!) and tweaked it here so that you can enjoy a 2 person portion - to share - or all to yourself! Cumin is such a brilliant spice for warming the body, especially at this time of year and so is cinnamon which isn't actually in the original recipe but I was making this at a friend's house and totally mistook the cinnamon for ground cumin so both went in.... Enjoy!

Serves 1 - 2

1-2 tbs of ghee or coconut oil or butter

320g beetroot (1 very large or 2 medium), cut into chunks

1 medium red/white onion or half a leek, finely sliced

1 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 large garlic clove, peeled 

500g water (plus more to adjust)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (or ground cumin)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (clearly optional!)

2 bay leaves (optional)

1/2 tsp jaggery 

Salt and pepper to taste

On a medium heat add the cumin seeds and lightly toast until just fragrant (if using the ground cumin keep a close eye that it doesn't burn), add the ghee, cinnamon and onion and saute on a gentle heat until translucent (if using butter make sure it is a very low heat otherwise the butter can burn).

Add the beetroot, bay leaves, garlic and saute for another 5-10 mins (you could throw in the water too at this stage but I when I'm not in a rush I love this bit..)

Add the water, 2 pinches of salt, a pinch of black pepper, apple cider vinegar and jaggery, bring to a simmer and gently cook, lid on for 15 mins or more until the beetroot is tender.

Blend until smooth with a stick blender or by transferring to a blender (be careful as it's hot!).

Serve with your favourite toppings - I did a swirl of extra virgin olive oil and topped with some toasted cumin seeds and a tiny sprinkling of chill to add some heat.  

Jasmine Hemsley