golden beet soup with whipped feta + beet greens pesto

In this soup we’ve taken all the flavors of one of our favorite salad combinations (beets and feta) and turned them into a luxurious fall soup. Golden beets have a milder flavor than their red counterparts and are the perfect foundation. The tops of the beets make an ideal base for pesto that adds a fresh, bright flavor, pairing nicely with the creaminess of the whipped feta.

3 large golden beets, scrubbed clean

Beet Greens Pesto
1 cup beet greens, washed, dried and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whipped Feta
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups homemade (or low-sodium) vegetable stock
1/4 cup heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Trim greens from beets, leaving about a 1/2-inch stem on each beet. Set greens aside. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until beets are tender when pierced with tip of a paring knife, at least 1 hour.
  3. While beets cook, make pesto. Add beet greens to bowl of a food processor along with Parmigiano-Reggiano and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until just mixed. Slowly stream in olive oil until combined. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wash out food processor.
  4. Make whipped feta. Add feta cheese, cream cheese, and olive oil to food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and combined (texture should be similar to plain Greek yogurt). Set aside.
  5. Remove beets from oven, open foil, and allow to cool. When beets are cool enough to handle, remove and discard skins. Chop beets and set aside.
  6. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another 1 minute. Add chopped beets and cook for another 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, until beets are softened.
  7. Working in batches, transfer mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Return soup to pot and add heavy cream. Stir to combine. Taste for flavor and adjust as desired. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish each with a dollop of pesto and some whipped feta. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Serves 4.