I love working with pickled foods. They assume the flavors of whatever you’ve preserved them in. The beats used in this soup were pickled in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, onions, and dill.
Inspired by the gutsy-colored flowers starting to pop up everywhere, I decided to make this vibrant soup. It has a powerful sweetness and earthiness — just the kind of flavors to excite you for a new growing season. If you don’t have the time to bake cornbread, you can top the soup with a dollop of cream or yogurt.
Today’s yard harvest included cat’s ear, dandelion, and chive shoots.
• 4 cups pickled beets, drained
• 3 cups water
• 2 onions, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 4 tablespoons maple syrup
• 1 bay leaf
• 4 tablespoons heavy cream
• small handful of fresh greens
• a few handfuls of torn cornbread, toasted in the oven until golden brown
In a medium pot, melt the butter and cook the onions and garlic for about 10 minutes.
Add the beets and maple syrup, stir, and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the water and bay leaf. Simmer 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and blend with a blender or hand mixer.
Add the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with greens and cornbread croutons.