4 beetroots, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 baby fennel, fronds reserved, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 cups (1 litre) beef stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
Sour cream, Orange zest, to serve
Preheat oven to 180C. Wrap each beetroot in foil. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Set aside for 10 mins to cool. Wearing rubber gloves, peel and coarsely chop.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until fennel softens. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 min or until fragrant. Add beetroot and stock. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 mins or until vegetables are tender.
Carefully use a stick blender to blend the mixture until smooth. Add the orange juice and stir to combine. Taste and season.
Ladle soup evenly among serving bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with reserved fennel fronds and orange zest. Serve immediately.
Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup
800g canned whole tomatoes
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 slices day-old sourdough bread, crusts removed, cubed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil, plus extra small leaves to serve
Place tomatoes, chilli, garlic, sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 cup (250ml) water and some salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes break down slightly.
Meanwhile, place the bread in a bowl and drizzle with the vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften.
Add the bread mixture and basil to the soup and stir well to combine. Cover and simmer over low heat for a further 5 minutes or until the soup thickens.
Using a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, cool slightly, puree in ba puree in batches in a blender, then reheat over medium heat.)
Serve hot, drizzled with remaining oil and garnished with small basil leaves.