Cheap, nourishing and extremely tasty!


A rich source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, folic acid and iron, beetroot will not only boost your immune system but it also contains nitrates which help the body synthesise oxygen more efficiently, thereby enhancing performance. Enjoy this soup warm for lunch with a hunk of wholegrain bread, or try it chilled with a green salad on the side.

Ingredients (serves 4)

■ 50g butter

■ 1 large red onion

■ 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

■ 1 large carrot, diced

■ 1 large potato, peeled and diced

■ 1 stalk celery, chopped

■ 1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar

■ 400g raw beetroot, peeled and diced (about 4 medium beetroots)

■ 1 tsp sugar

■ 200g white cabbage, shredded

■ 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

■ salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

■ 1.5 l beef stock

■ Juice of ½ lemon

■ 1 cooked beetroot, grated

■ soured cream and chopped chives or dill to serve

Prep time: 5-10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion for a few minutes until soft. then add the garlic, carrot, potato, celery, caraway seeds and raw beetroot.
  2. Turn the heat down very low, cover, and leave the vegetables to sweat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar, stock, vinegar, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and bring to the boil. reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, add the cabbage.
  4. Before serving, add a little lemon juice and the grated cooked beetroot – this freshens the colour to make it a nice deep purple. check for seasoning, and adjust with salt, pepper, sugar and/or lemon juice.
  5. Blend the soup to a smooth puree using a hand held blender or liquidiser. Either reheat and serve warm, or chill in the refrigerator and serve ice-cold. Either way, spoon over a little soured cream and a scattering of chopped chives or dill before eating.

Kate Percy Athlete and cook, Kate is passionate about the link between good eating and performance. Her best-selling books, Go Faster Food (£12.99), Go Faster Food for Kids , (£16.99), and FuelSmart for Race Day (£3.99) bring sports nutrition to life with recipes to help athletes fulfil their potential. They’re available on Amazon, in bookstores, or from her website at gofasterfood.com