← Back to Search Results
roasting American
Spiced Pink Soup Recipe-60

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


Chilled soups have more going for them than mere retro charm. Temperature-cooling, unfussy, as soothing for the cook as the eater, they make the perfect, light summer starter. The pink in this particular soup comes from beets, toned down with sour cream and further harmoniously soured by lime; the spices are ground cumin and coriander; the final, velvety emulsion is the purest puce. You don’t have to serve this, pitchers alongside one another, with the pea and mint soup that follows, but the combination, a glowering take on fifties rose-and-eau-de-nil, is irresistible.

I agree that making vats of stock may not be quite the thing when having to cook for a large number of people in high summer, but believe me I am not suggesting you do any such thing. A good make of fresh chicken stock in a tub will do fine here, as would good canned or chicken bouillon or vegetable stock powder. The idea is anyway not to get you slaving over a hot stove right now. You know that song, Summertime, and the cooking is easy . . .

OK yes, beets take a long time to roast properly, but they taste so good when intensified thus by the oven (not that you have to do anything to them while they cook), and that’s the extent of the cooking thereafter. In other words, this is a low-effort enterprise.

Yield: Serves 6-8


  • 2 large or 3 medium raw beets
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 7 cups heated chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 scallions, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wrap each beet in foil and bake for one and a half to two hours until tender. Unwrap partly and leave for a while until bearable to touch. And I’d put on rubber gloves for this, too, or you’ll have a touch of the Lady Macbeth’s about you after. Gingerly peel them—when they’re this well cooked the skin should rub off easily—and then cut them into chunks. Put them in the food processor with the juice of the lime, the cumin and coriander and blitz to a pulp while pouring the stock down the funnel. You may want to wear an apron for this (or stand well back). Indeed, you may feel happier doing this in two batches. Taste for salt and pepper, blitz again and then pour into a large pitcher. Add the split scallions and leave to cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for up to three days.

Just before you want to eat this, pick out the scallions and, to make for a desirably creamy base, blitz again while adding the sour cream (¾ cup first, then see if you want the rest). Decant back into the pitcher (for easier pouring) then duly pour into waiting teacups. If you’re using more capacious soup bowls in place of the cups, you may find you feed only six from this.

© 2003 Nigella Lawson

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 8, and includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.

91kcal (5%)
1227mg (51%)
7g (10%)
4g (19%)
17mg (6%)
60mcg RAE (2%)
4mg (7%)
48mg (5%)
1mg (3%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

125-best-cupcake-recipes 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
by Julie Hasson
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
parents-need-to-eat-too Parents Need to Eat Too
by Debbie Koenig
the-provence-cookbook The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
daves-dinners-a-fresh-approach-to-home-cooked-meals Dave's Dinners: A Fresh App...
by Dave Lieberman
complete-book-of-indian-cooking-350-recipes-from-the-regions-of-india Complete Book of Indian Coo...
by Suneeta Vaswani
american-vegan-kitchen American Vegan Kitchen
by Tamasin Noyes
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
lucindas-authentic-jamaican-kitchen Lucinda's Authentic Jamaica...
by Lucinda Scala Quinn
desserts-4-today Desserts 4 Today
by Abby Dodge
living-raw-food Living Raw Food
by Sarma Melngailis
cook-with-jamie Cook with Jamie
by Jamie Oliver
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?