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A time for health: Super simple roast beetroot soup

January 12, 2015

roast beetroot soupI may have misled you the other day, in fact I told an outright porky pie. I mentioned that I had made beetroot soup using this recipe – when in fact I did nothing of the sort. Necessity is the mother of invention and time was exceedingly tight so beetroot were tossed into the oven with an onion, added to hot stock and herbs in the Vitamix and blitzed. And that’s it. It’s the beetroot equivalent of my iphone tomato soup recipe and no less easy, tasty or satisfying. You could add more stock and make it drinkable but as I’ve been following Jumpstart 15 where I have soup for lunch I wanted a scoopable texture which would fill my mouth and tummy with substance and silkiness.

So the impact of advancing years on my metabolism have made and impact. I’ve never been on a ‘diet’ in my life. If overeating strikes (and as a keen eater and food blogger in Dubai this is ridiculously easy) I just try to eat sensibly. That’s it. There are no scales in my house, you just know when you start feeling uncomfortable round the middle. If there’s anything I follow it’s the Michael Pollen mantra:

Eat foodHaving more than a minor post-Christmas Pirelli round my waistline, I decided to join a few friends in Jumpstart 15. So what’s that all about?

There’s no calorie counting. Why do I think this is a good thing? The whole concept of calories is outdated and inaccurate. It’s a simplistic measurement of available energy in foods devised in the 19th century; a calorie is the amount of energy required to heat one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. This doesn’t take into account the complexity and diversity of the digestive system (let alone how the food is prepared) and how much energy each individual actually derives from what’s available. It also assumes that all calories are equal, so 100 calories of chocolate will have the same effect as 100 calories of spinach (which you don’t need scientists to point out is flawed).

The beauty of Jumpstart 15 is that it makes you plan healthy choices for breakfast and lunch, and you eat what you like for dinner. As someone who often eats two slices of toast to start the day, the breakfast smoothie has been an easy habit to start and something I’ve been looking forward to after my morning dog walk.

Lunch is soup – another vegetable-based (or could be vegan for those doing Veganuary)meal (although there is nothing wrong with a meaty version). I’ve not cut out bread but limited myself to a single sour dough or wholemeal slice at the end of the bowl if I’m still feeling hungry.

Late afternoon is always the time that I might reach for a snack so I’m making sure I choose fruit or a few nuts. I have a small glass of wine with dinner (I never eat pudding at home unless entertaining so this is not an issue).

So Jumpstart 15 for me is:

  • A smoothie for breakfast with as much organic, local veg from the farmers market as possible
  • A veggie-heavy soup for lunch with one slice of grain bread maximum
  • Making an effort to drink more water (I’ll still drink tea)
  • Fruit, veg or a few nuts as a snack
  • A normal meal with my family in the evening including a glass of wine
  • If I’m eating out I’ll try to keep it in moderation (book club wine exempt!)
  • Plus I’ve upped the pace and distance of my dog walk, doing Vinyasa yoga twice a week and running up and down stairs on the hour as a break from my desk.

Back to this soup. It’s the easiest thing to whip up if you have a power blender and I’m sure an ordinary blender or processor would work well too. It’s peppery, earthy but very clean in taste and feels like a treat for lunch.

Roast beetroot soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 4 medium beetroot (you could keep the leaves on)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh herbs, leaves picked (I used 2 sprigs of thyme and 2 of marjoram)
  • 500 – 600 ml hot vegetable stock (I use Swiss Marigold Bouillon powder)
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with foil and place the beetroot and onion onto it (no need to peel the onion or trim the beetroot). Cover with another sheet of foil and seal the edges.
  2. Bake in the oven for an hour or until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a knife). Remove the outer layer of the onion and discard.
  3. Put the stock, beetroot, onion and herbs into your blender and blitz until perfectly smooth. Add more stock if you want a thinner texture. Add black pepper to taste.

If you are tempted to join in but want more reassurance that this is a sensible eating plan to follow, Kellie, a health educationist and nutrition adviser with Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, and leading healthy eating blogger of Food to Glow got me started on this. For more inspiration (they inspired me too) see what Monica of Smarter Fitter, Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes, Elizabeth of the eponymous Kitchen Diary, Sarah of Maison Cupcake, Kate of Veggie Desserts, Nazima and Pierre of Franglais Kitchen, Michelle of Utterly Scrummy, Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Ren Behan. Simple and in Season – this recipe truly is!  Visit Ren and Sarah for more delicious recipes that fit the description.

Do share any #Jumpstart 15 pics, posts etc with the hashtag so everyone can see what you are up to. Have you been tempted to change your eating habits in January? How are you getting on?

  1. January 12, 2015 7:23 pm

    I love the Polish style beetroot soup, but I wouldn’t mind trying this! 🙂

    • January 13, 2015 10:03 am

      Let me know if you do. I think you’ll like it.

  2. January 12, 2015 8:04 pm

    You are now my queen of simple and good things. Your iPhone tomato soup was only the beginning. You are very god at simplifying, whereas I have to talk round the houses before I get to my point – preamble and recipe alike. And commenting too. 😉 Thanks for the big up, too. Enjoy your morning smoothies!

    • January 13, 2015 10:04 am

      Ah but your talking round the houses is so entertaining and witty – often laugh out loud. Don’t ever change Kellie and thanks for your constant healthy guidance.

  3. January 12, 2015 8:23 pm

    Wow, yoga twice a week – I’m impressed! 🙂

    • January 13, 2015 10:04 am

      That’s the aim – and if I do it less I pay for it during the sesssions. It’s SO hard!

  4. January 12, 2015 9:45 pm

    What a beautiful intense dark red! Makes me think twice about the beetroots lurking in my fridge – they might not make their destinated recipe. This is such a great time for soup (coincidence, I have made a roasted parsnip & Jerusalem artichoke soup a few days ago), though I can’t imagine Dubai sporting the same miserable temperatures as in the middle of Germany, looks rather sunny to me. Sigh.
    I am still smiling about your “post Christmas Pirelli” and will shamelessly adopt the expression for mine. Have a great week and a good Jumpstart, Nicole

    • January 13, 2015 10:06 am

      Have a good week too Nicole. The weather is beautiful right now – a fresh breeze in the evening, warm sunshine through the day – even a few clouds. I can’t get Jerusalem artichokes here – would love to cook with them.

  5. January 12, 2015 10:56 pm

    That’s how I eat (nearly) all the time! We mostly feed on vegetables (every day) and meat is an exception (maximum once a week)… I don’t do yoga, though (I guess I should 😉 )

    This soup looks delicious and wonderfully silky.



    • January 13, 2015 10:07 am

      I’ve only just discovered a yoga class that works for me and I’m totally hooked Rosa – benefits in many ways.

  6. January 12, 2015 11:05 pm

    Ha snap, I’ve got a pureed beetroot soup recipe to post soon!!! Lovely x

    • January 13, 2015 10:08 am

      I’ve got a kohlrabi recipe coming up that’s very like placki too 🙂

  7. January 13, 2015 3:21 am

    How are you finding it Sally? I am finding it quite easy , although I’ve had a few wee slips. I lost 4 lbs last week so I was very pleased. Your soup looks wonderful. What a colour!

    • January 13, 2015 10:09 am

      Pretty easy – actually – haven’t seen any effects on the spare tyre as only started on Sunday. Don’t expect to see rapid results but hopefully longer term benefits. It’s upped my fruit and veg intake dramatically so that’s good.

  8. decabbit permalink
    January 13, 2015 3:29 am

    WOW! I just have such trouble being exhausted all the time from the stupid commute. Starting to try a little more exercise when I can get home early enough though! Good on YOU though – AWESOME!

    • January 13, 2015 10:11 am

      I am very lucky – I don’t have a commute and although I have commitments I work from home. My house is 10 minutes walk from the beach so although I miss green fields and hills I have something to aim for every day. Yoga is also walking distance and I’ve found a great teacher. My hardest task is saying no to lovely invites which all seem to happen on a Wednesday night. Cocktails or yoga next week – what a choice!!

  9. January 13, 2015 7:53 am

    Looks gorgeous!

  10. January 13, 2015 1:41 pm

    Very good post. Absolutely in agreement on not having scales in the house and not dieting. The Michael Pollan quote says it all.

  11. January 13, 2015 3:28 pm

    I’ve not tried beetroot soup yet (as I’m overrun with pickled beetroot from a client job last year!!) but I’d like to try this. Looks nice and thick.

  12. January 13, 2015 4:32 pm

    Love a bit of beetroot soup, and your version sounds quick and easy! This healthy eating plan sounds really achievable… I’m going to have to give it a try once i’ve got the stress of moving house out of the way. It’s comfort eating and drinking a-go-go in my house 😉

  13. Iryna permalink
    January 13, 2015 5:34 pm

    Dear Sally,
    First of all, I would like to say thank you for your blog! I am really fascinated by your recipes, which are very simple to cook. I am a very busy person, so it’s important to me that cooking doesn’t take me much time, but I prefer health food and your recipes are certainly what I need. I will try your beetroot soup tonight. (Your iphone tomato soup was very tasty) To show my gratitude and appreciation, I would like to share a very good free app with you. It is called Carde and it is at I’ve discovered recently. All image content of top social networks is there, so it saves time. I will be looking forward to your feedback. Thank you again and I will be waiting impatiently for your new posts!

  14. January 13, 2015 6:36 pm

    I absolutely love the look of this soup! I love the flavour of roasted beetroot and the fact your soup recipe has some substance to it appeals to me – after all, we don’t want to leave the table after eating a watery soup still feeling hungry!

  15. January 14, 2015 12:33 am

    I love how short the ingredient list is – and somehow it manages to look less intimidating than borscht (did I spell that right?) which I am yet to try…

  16. M E Cheshier permalink
    January 14, 2015 8:22 pm

    This looks absolutely fabulous!

  17. January 14, 2015 8:58 pm

    I like the idea of roasting the beetroot – I’m usually a bit :-/ about beetroot soup but this looks rich and lovely…

  18. glamorous glutton permalink
    January 14, 2015 10:46 pm

    This looks so simple and I bet it’s delicious. I love beetroot and it’s so very good for you. GG

  19. January 15, 2015 11:05 am

    Your Jump start 15 sounds so so envious. I would love to join Sally- it does sound like one can get hungry after lunch though – as it is just soup and a bread right? I guess its no deprivation as dinner can be wholesome.. any guide lines about crisps and chocs?

    • January 15, 2015 10:45 pm

      Chocs I don’t have a problem with – that’s not my temptation. Crisps are very much a problem … so I don’t buy them when trying to be good. I like to have carrot and cucumber sticks in a bit of salted iced water in the fridge. I think if you are nibbling on something healthy it’s fine. It’s early evening when the urge for crisps strikes!

  20. January 15, 2015 12:44 pm

    I eat sensibly, unless we are on holiday. I loved the look of this soup when I saw it on facebook. Have to admit at first glance I though it was ketchup. Roasted beets work for me, not matter the season 🙂

    • January 15, 2015 10:31 pm

      Good for you Tandy. Beetroot ketchup? That could work!

  21. January 15, 2015 5:39 pm

    Love the color and simplicity of the soup! If I’m not mistaken, that is the color of the year 🙂

    Your Jumpstart 15 is a good idea! I’ve been trying to eat healthy (low carb and sugar, lots of plant-based food) since September last year and, besides losing weight, I feel more invigorated and active now. I think this soup will become my favorite. I might add a little garlic whilst baking though.

    Thanks for sharing!

  22. January 16, 2015 4:27 am

    Lovely post and very knowledgeable thoughts on calories. I too three out the scales years ago – you know yourself when you need to ate well and when you can indulge!

  23. January 16, 2015 11:06 am

    Sounds super Sally. Oh that was an alliteration! Jumpstart 15 looks to be interesting. I too champion moderation when it comes to food. But i also enjoy my dessert portion every now and then

  24. January 29, 2015 2:11 am

    Gosh, I love roasted beetroot but I’ve never tried it in a soup. The colour is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.


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