Pinkish–think Valentine’s Day. The recipe calls for the soup to be puréed, but if you choose to keep it chunky, then dice the beets and potato(es), and finely chop the onion.

2 T vegetable oil or butter, or a combination
1 1/2 c chopped onion
1 t thyme, ground fennel, basil, or other dried herb
1 t ground cumin
6 c or diced (peeled) and chopped chioggia beets
1 1/2 – 2 c diced potato(es), floury preferred, such as russet
8 c broth, or a combination of broth and water
salt and pepper, to taste
1 T lemon juice or mild vinegar
1 T maple syrup, optional
sour cream, crème fraîche, or yogurt, for serving

1. In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for about 8 minutes. Add the herb(s) and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the beets, potato(es), and broth. Bring to the boil, add some salt and pepper, reduce heat, cover and cook until vegetables are tender, or to your preference.

2. If puréeing, either use an immersion blender in the pot, or transfer the contents to a blender or food processor. You will need to purée in batches if using the latter devices. Return purée to pot, and gently heat through. Taste for seasonings. Stir in the lemon juice, and, if you like a touch of sweetness, the maple syrup. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if you like.