This makes an enormous amount – approx. 20 servings. The grey Le Creusset was not even big enough. Cut in two for more sensible amounts. Always better the day after it is made.
- 2 medium white onions
- 4 litres of boiling water
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 1Kg floury potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 dsp of Herbes de Provence
- 1Kg cooked beetroot, peeled and grades on largest side
- 4 medium sized carrots (err on less not more, they can make it too sweet)
- 1 white cabbage – tough heart removed and shredded thinly (setting 1 on the KitchenAid)
- 500g cooked beans
- 150-200g tomato puree
- 6 medium cloves of garlic
- Creme Fraiche for serving
Get the boiling water ready, once the first load has boiled add the stock cubes and get the kettle on again for the next. Meanwhile take the whole onions, cut the top off and peel. KEEP THE ROOT ON and the onion whole. Cut a grid into the onion from its top end so there are about 3 cuts vertically and horizontally – don’t go all the way to the root but quite close. You want the onion to give flavour but it needs to be removed before serving.
When all the water is boiling with the stock cubes inside add the prepared onions, the potato and carrot and cook for 5 mins. Next addthe shredded cabbage and the herbs as well as a serious grind of black pepper. Leave on a light boil until the potato is cooked (will be about 15 mins).
Do not put a lid on the pan – apparently it is bad for the cabbage.
Next add the beans and grated beetroot and cook on light boil until the colour is coming out the beetroot and the strands are a lot paler. Around 5 mins. Remove the onions.
Reduce the heat so it is off the boil and add 150g of the the tomato puree and a really serious seasoning of salt. Bring to the boil and then cut the heat immediately. Taste and add more tomato if needed, if you do this bring to the boil again and then cut the heat once boiling. Check the seasoning again.
Finally grate in the garlic and stir well. If you were going to eat immediately, I would add two cloves of grated garlic, stir and put as much as you need into bowls and then add the rest to the pan. Otherwise the garlic can be a bit harsh.
It is best if you let the soup rest at least overnight or for a full day before eating. Reheat as much as you need and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche on top.