CUMIN BEETROOT SOUP
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. I loved this soup so much that I requested it to be served at an event I hosted with my friend Shaman Durek. I asked for 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!
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.