A mountain of cooked beetroot

Beetroot, apple and horseradish soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian

I just can’t seem to say it right.

A pile or raw beetroots

The first person to point this out was my girlfriend, who regularly sends up my pronounciation of the word beetroot. A typical* conversation at home might go like this:

Me: “Do you fancy some bee’roo soup for lunch”
Gf: “B’ROO?”
Me: “OK, let’s try again. Would you like a bowl of homemade beeTrooT soup?”
Gf: “B’ROO?”
Me: “I’ll take that as yes.”
(* Grossly exaggerated)

This linguistic laziness seems to be quite a common English tradition where people regularly drop letters from words. All over the country, people drop their h’s and t’s when they pronounce words to either sound cool, be cockney, lazy, or just because they do. Even my hairdresser’s name is an example of it, being called ‘Enry ‘Iggins, presumably in reference to the musical My Fair Lady.

Beetroot apple and horseradish soup with walnuts and yoghurt ready to serve

Anyway, pronounciation peculiarities aside, last week saw the testing and making of a couple of b’roo soups that I had come up with, in an effort to find a good recipe that I could share with the kind people who read this blog. After I had prompted the sarcasm about pronunciation and we had quickly despatched it, we got onto testing the soups which very quickly brought about a clear leader which I have for you today. The second place soup has since undergone a fundamental re-hash to enliven it slightly, which once tested and tasted again will hopefully be presented to you as well.

The recipe today feels just right for this time of year when the mornings are still cold and the air brings a chill with it, but there’s a sheen of sunlight beginning to sparkle your windows and put some brightness into your life. It might be chilly outside, but it’s bright and warm in the kitchen and your soup is hot and tangy.

Beetroot apple and horseradish soup with walnuts and yoghurt

Beetroot, apple and horseradish soup


Serves 4

Uses 2 pots

PDF recipe card to download or print


650g raw beetroot, with root and 1″ of stem remaining, or 600g pre-cooked & peeled beetroot (not vinegar dipped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
250g bramley apple, peeled and diced
750ml vegetable stock
1.5 tablespoons horseradish sauce

50g walnuts very roughly chopped
12 tablespoons yoghurt


Put the beetroot in a saucepan big enough to take it all and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Drain and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. When cooled enough to handle, de-skin the beetroots by sliding the skin off. As you squeeze the beets between your fingers, the skin should just slip off. Chop into 1cm chunks. If using pre-cooked beetroot, simply chop into 1cm chunks.

Whilst the beetroot is cooking, or cooling, fry the onion and garlic with the oil in a large pan over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the apple and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If finished before the beetroot is ready, turn off the heat and cover with a lid.

When ready, add the beetroot, stock and horseradish to the pan with the onion, garlic and apple and heat until simmering gently. Use a stick blender to whizz it into a smooth soup, being careful not to spray beetroot everywhere!

To serve, heat the walnuts in a pan over a medium heat until browned slightly, pour the soup into bowls, put three tablespoons of yoghurt on top of each bowl and pile the walnuts over the top.

A unique perspective on food for the intelligent foodie, once a month.

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