Beetroot and Celeriac Soup with Horseradish

This is a simple, little soup but I think it makes humble ingredients taste pleasingly complex and truly satisfying. It's best to use a classic, ruby-coloured beetroot for this dish because it looks so good but other colours will work just fine. You might find that some golden beetroots are extremely sweet, so be prepared to increase the amount of lime juice.

If you wished, you could add fresh horseradish to the soup or even make your own creamed horseradish. I agree that homemade is always best but, unless you have the time to spare and you reckon you can eat a significant amount of horseradish, I think it's a lot easier to buy a small jar of good quality creamed horseradish.

Although I'd normally serve a bowl of this for lunch, it will also work well as a delicate and refined starter or appetiser since the colour is just so impressive. Of course, the colour is also difficult to eradicate, so try to keep the soup away from your shagpile carpet, best tablecloth, white jeans and pale dog.

Beetroot and Celeriac Soup
You should get at least 6 decent portions from this recipe or more if you use it as an elegant starter.

1 onion, roughly chopped 
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 celeriac, peeled and cut into roughly 3cm chunks  - total prepared weight around 650 g
450 g (prepared weight) uncooked beetroot, peeled and cut into roughly 2 cm chunks
1300 ml vegetable stock (you may need to add a little more at the end)
2 heaped tbsp uncooked white rice
Leaves from a small sprig of thyme
2 - 3 tsp of creamed horseradish (this can vary in strength so be flexible)
A generous squeeze of lime juice 
Salt and pepper
yoghurt and extra creamed horseradish to serve

Soften the onion and garlic gently with a little oil in a large pan. Add the celeriac, beetroot, rice and stock. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes until everything is thoroughly softened. (Older veg or larger chunks may take a little longer). Take off the heat.

Stir in the thyme leaves, the creamed horseradish and lime juice. Season. Liquidise and adjust the seasoning and other flavours. The soup may need a little extra lime juice if the beetroot is particularly sweet. You may find the soup ends up a bit too thick, so add a little water or stock if it needs it.

To serve, add a touch more creamed horseradish to a little yoghurt and gently stir some in to each bowl. 


  1. Phil, what a beautiful soup! I love celeriac and have been trying to think of something different to do with beets, so this is perfect. No shagpile carpet here, but maybe we'll stand out on the patio to eat it and spare the tablecloth!

    1. I can be a messy eater when distracted (and that happens a lot) so maybe I should spend more time on the patio.


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