- 3 large or 4-5 medium beets
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
- sour cream or unflavored Greek style yogurt, optional
- sliced hard cooked egg or potato, optional
- Wash the beets well and cook them in boiling salted water until tender. Best way to check? Insert a paring knife all the way through the center of a beet and lift up. If the beet slips off the knife, it’s done. If it doesn’t move, let it cook longer.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Coarsely chop the beets and set them aside. Reserve any cooking liquid and strain.
- Heat the olive oil or butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened.
- Add the chopped beets (plus any accumulated juices), salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the water.
- Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pan to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve garnished, if desired, with sour cream, yogurt, chopped green onions or dill, or cooked egg or potato.
- Serve hot or cold.