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Beet and Orange Soup with Mint, Orange Zest, and Sour Cream

3 medium-size beets (about 1 pound)
1 medium-size yellow or white onion, quartered and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
6 cups water
Shredded fresh mint, for garnish
Slivered orange zest, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish (optional)


Combine the beets, onion, carrots, orange juice, vinegar, bay leaf, and water in the pressure cooker and stir to mix. Lock on the lid and bring to pressure over high heat, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes to finish cooking. With the steam vent pointed away from your face, gently release any remaining pressure. Lift out the beets with a slotted spoon and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel them. Remove and discard the bay leaf and set the pot aside. For a smooth soup, mix the beets with the ingredients in the pot and puree them all together. You can use a food processor, pureeing in batches, or a food mill for a smoother puree. For a chunky soup, cut the beets into 1/4-inch dice. Add them to the pot with the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix. When ready to serve, heat the soup until boiling. Ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish each with a pinch of shredded mint, 3 or 4 slivers of orange zest, and a small dollop of sour cream if you like. Serve piping hot.

Source: www.cookstr.com