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Beet Soup with Indian Spices

Buying beets with the greens attached -- as required for this recipe -- is a sure way to know they're fresh. Beets are often cooked before they're peeled or cut to keep nutrients intact. Here, the prep work is done first without sacrifice: The juices that result make up the nutritious broth and give the soup its deep flavor and color.

  • servings: 6




  • 5 or 6 medium red beets with greens (about 2 1/2 pounds with greens), stems and greens cut off and reserved
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and cut into thin half-moons
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup low-fat yogurt


  1. Step 1

    Cut beet greens into thin strips, and stems into 1/4-inch pieces; set both aside. Peel beets with a vegetable peeler; cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just browned, about 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cumin, coriander, cayenne, and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Step 3

    Add tomatoes and salt; cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until juices are released, about 2 minutes. Add stock and 4 1/2 cups water (for a thinner consistency, add up to 5 cups water); bring to a boil. Add beets and stems. Reduce heat; simmer until beets are tender, about 35 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Add greens; cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Divide soup among six bowls; divide yogurt among servings.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2004



Reviews (1)

  • 7 Apr, 2013

    This was very time consuming and the end result was a little too earthy-tasting for me.