By Gloria Kobrin
Beets and goat cheese have such a strong affinity for each other that I thought I would create a Passover soup based on these wonderful ingredients. Just to take it up a notch, I coated the goat cheese in candied pecans before frying them. Add a few extra nuts as garnish and each spoonful brings your taste buds the rich taste of roasted beets pureed velvety smooth combined with sweet and crunchy nut coated goat cheese. Heaven!
Prep time: 90 min. Chilling time: several hours or overnight.
2 pounds fresh beets
1 cup olive oil
1 large onion
2 large stalks celery
8 firm goat cheese medallions (or 1 log from which you can cut medallions)
1/3 cup toasted pecans-ground fine
1/3 cup candied pecans
Preheat oven: 400 F.
Cut leaves off beets and discard them. Wrap beets in foil. Roast large beets 60-75 minutes. Small beets take30-45 minutes. Test them with a fork through the foil to see if they are soft and done. Allow beets to cool slightly before slipping off their skin and cutting them into coarse chunks.
While beets are roasting: Peel and chop onion. Set aside. Wash celery, trim ends and cut into ½ inch pieces. Add to onion.
Pour about 1/3 cup oil in soup pot. Heat oil over medium-high flame. Add onions and celery. Stir well. Place cover over pot leaving it a little bit askew. Allow onions and celery to sauté/steam until they are very soft and onions begin to brown. Remove cover and add beets. Stir well. Pour in four cups water. Stir again. Simmer ingredients for 15 minutes removing from stove. Let soup cool before puréeing it.
Insert steel knife into processor. Pour 1 ½ -2 cups soup into processor bowl and process several minutes until mixture is velvety smooth. Scrape soup into mixing bowl. Repeat until all the soup has been puréed. Add one cup more water if you prefer thinner soup. Chill soup several hours or overnight in the fridge. You can accelerate cooling by putting bowl in the freezer for about an hour.
Fried Goat Cheese: Dip each medallion in ground pecans, then in beaten egg and then in candied pecans. Set aside.
Pour remaining oil into skillet. Heat oil over medium-high flame. Carefully slip goat cheese medallions into hot oil. Leave them about one minute on one side before flipping them over and browning them on the other. Remove from oil and drain them on paper towels.
To present soup: Pour one cup puréed soup into each soup bowl. Place one medallion in the center of each. Decorate with extra candied pecans.
Dairy Serves: 6-8
Recipe: Kosher, diary, passover friendly
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