4 or 5 medium beets (about 1 lb)
5 or 6 medium carrots (about 1 lb)
2 T vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
1 T minced fresh peeled ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
6 c broth or water
1 t grated orange zest, or 1/2 t orange extract, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream or yogurt, for serving

1. Peel beets, if you wish. Otherwise, halve and cut into chunks. Similarly with the carrots. If you don’t think you will purée the soup, chop the beets and carrots more finely. Keep beets and carrots in separate bowls.

2. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion for about 8 minutes, until it’s translucent. Add carrots, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. If garlic starts to brown, turn heat down. Add beets and broth or water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer for 50 minutes to an hour, until the vegetables are tender. Add orange zest or extract, salt and pepper, and stir well. Remove pot from heat.

3. Purée soup in a blender or food processor, in batches (or not). Taste for seasoning. Put soup back in the pot to reheat if you wish, or put in a large bowl to serve. Garnish each soup bowl with a dollop or two of sour cream or yogurt.