Roasted Beet Puree with Feta

This is yet another soup from Williams-Sonoma's Soup of the Day cookbook. (Eventually I will cook my way through the entire book). Like everything else I've made from this cookbook, the soups come together quickly and always please everyone around the dinner table. I made this soup as the first course for a dinner where my guests could not eat pork. This, of course, excluded the use of bacon as a flavoring. Not to worry though. The roasting of the beets intensifies their flavor with the results being a savory vibrant red color. Use vegetable broth to make a vegetarian version of the soup. The soup can be served either hot or cold. Because it is January I served mine hot but I bet the flavors would be just as good cold. ROASTED BEET PUREE WITH FETA Serves 4 3 large red beets, trimmed 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/4 yellow onion, chopped 4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable broth Salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 2 tablespoons chopped dill Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the beets in a baking dish and drizzle with the oil, turning to coat. Roast the beets until they are easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and coarsely chop them. In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the beets and broth, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor (or use a stick blender for easiest cleanup). Serve warm or let cool to room temperature, transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the feta and chopped dill.

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