Cream of Beet Soup (AKA Pretty Pink Soup)

Beets were never high on my list of veggies to eat. My dad used to cook and eat them, mostly by himself because none of us would want to have anything to do with it for some reason. He enjoyed the beets (either pickled or sauteed in butter) the best with his Raki. “They make a beautiful couple, don’t they?” he asked one time, pointing out his turned-white raki (lion’s milk, as we say)  in that slender, tall glass sitting right beside some beets in their bright, beautiful color. I used to just shake my head and move on…

Well, I cannot do that anymore. After I tried this soup, I cannot turn my back on beets now. There is no moving on!

I am sold… I am in… I am done… Whatever you call it!

Last week, I invited some friends over for dinner, because I was planning to cook a feast to accompany a lamb leg recipe from One Big Table for my post this week. More to come on that topic this weekend… but first, this soup… it was served as  first course. So it only makes sense that it is written first!

I started looking for some recipes that use dill because one of my guests has a love affair with dill. Then, I happened to pick up James Peterson’s Splendid Soups at the library. One night, while sipping a cup of tea and turning the pages, I found THE soup… the one that was recommended to eat with lots of dill on top.

It was no-brainer…

Since I am a beet-illiterate, of course, my cooking attempt started with a white t-shirt… only to end up with me frantically looking for my Oxy-Clean… And then going to Target tonight and picking up new white tshirts. Bottom line: Put Your Apron On!

The recipe calls for cooking the beets in the stock or water until they get soft. Instead of this step, I roasted the beets wrapped in foil in a 375°F oven, then put them in the stock. I am not sure if it made any change in the flavor. But I prefer anything roasted over boiled, personally! Also, I think the vinegar in the recipe has something to do with the great taste!

After you make this soup, you will have a big urge to make “ohh… ahhh” noises and keep saying “Ohh how pretty!”… I normally do not use that word for food… Pretty is for little girls, it is for pink stuff, it is for jewelery… you get the point… Not for a soup!

Unless your soup turns out pretty pink… and turns you into a giggly little girl…Then, by all means… you are even allowed to giggle when your bread turns pink!

Cream of  Beet Soup (From James Peterson’s Splendid Soups)

  • 1 lbs beets (Recipe calls for peeled and chopped to cook in the stock. You can roast, then peel and chop to put in the stock)
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 fresh marjoram spring or 1 teaspoon dried or chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (more or less depending on your taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • As topping: 1/2 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped, croutons, and chopped fresh dill

1. Melt the butter in a soup pan, add onion, beets (if you prefer not to roast), and thyme or marjoram and cook until the onions are softened but not browned.

2. Add the broth, bring to a boil and then simmer slowly until the beets are cooked and soft. (This step will be shorter if you roast the beets. Make sure the onions are cooked well also)

3. Puree the soup in a blender, or use a handheld blender. You can strain it through a mesh strainer if you want a smooth texture. I just used the handheld blender until I could not see any chunks of beet or onion, and did not strain it. I like the texture in the soup but do whatever floats your boat.

4. Stir the cream, vinegar, salt and pepper and bring the soup back to a simmer.

5. Decorate the soup bowls with any of the toppings listed above (or all! There is nothing wrong with that!)


  1. by All That I'm Eating
    5:24 am
    Dec 4, 2010

    This looks the same colour of my purple carrot soup! A bit more attractive maybe. I love beetroot. This looks like such a tasty soup.

  2. by Ilke
    5:58 am
    Dec 4, 2010

    Thanks! I guess beets will be on the menu in this house for a while. I could not believe how sweet it tasted! Your carrot soup is on my list too! But it will be bright orange as I have never seen purple ones around here.

  3. by Zari
    9:04 am
    Dec 4, 2010

    It looks wonderful Ilkee. Beets are the wonder vegetable health-wise and enjoyable food as well.
    You can add mashed cooked beets to greek yogurt or sour cream, add salt and pepper as a side for your meal ( called borani choghondar in persian).

  4. by Ilke
    10:01 am
    Dec 4, 2010

    Thanks Zari for the recipe and the comment! :) I wanted to roast some more beets this weekend, will try it as a side dish like you described.

  5. by briarrose
    9:47 am
    Dec 4, 2010

    Wow the color is just lovely on this soup. Beautiful job. Normally I pass on things containing beets, but I think I’ll have to give this a whirl. ;)

  6. by Ilke
    10:00 am
    Dec 4, 2010

    Thanks for your comment:) You should definitely try..if not this, some other beets recipe. It is so sweet. I will use beets more often from now on.

  7. by Kristi Rimkus
    8:30 pm
    Dec 4, 2010

    I love the color of your soup. Really fantastic! I have three large beets from my vegetable delivery waiting to give this a try. I never thought of making a soup with them. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. by Alice
    1:49 pm
    Dec 5, 2010

    Beetroot is one if my favourites. I love it on soup, salad, in cakes and most of all, juiced with apples, carrots and fresh Ginger. Great job and doesn’t this look so festive!

  9. by Amy
    8:17 pm
    Dec 5, 2010

    This soup looks and sounds delicious! I love beets, and the color they give to things! Great recipe :)!

  10. by Ilke
    4:29 pm
    Dec 6, 2010

    Thanks Amy, they do tend to give great color, soups or clothes, no difference :) Thanks for visiting!

  11. by Lora @cakeduchess
    7:18 am
    Dec 6, 2010

    Beautiful soup Ilke-this looks so tasty! I love beets. The color is stunning;)

  12. by Marg
    8:46 pm
    Oct 28, 2012

    My grandmother made this and we loved it. She finished it off with a dollup of whipped buttered mashed potato on each serving.

  13. by Ilke
    9:12 pm
    Oct 28, 2012

    That is a very nice compliment to the soup, with whipped mashed potato. Have to try it next time! Thanks for stopping by :)

  14. by Aurica
    8:36 am
    Feb 3, 2014

    she got a beautiful color and looks so delicious, very nice

  15. by Karen
    7:44 pm
    Jan 16, 2015

    Trying this soup tonight! I’m generally the only one who likes beets in my family, but I thought perhaps this one will help hubby and kids open up their palates a little more? I’m having it as a first course, with a yummy unstuffed cabbage roll casserole… both tastes from Eastern Europe, Poland/Ukraine cusinesIf they still don’t like it, well, then more for me (wink). I can refrigerate or freeze it and have it again for my lunches.

  16. by Ilke
    6:51 pm
    Jan 20, 2015

    Hope they like it :)) The soup is on the sweet side for many people especially to those who are used to pickled beets.


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