After the New Year (when everyone is in a frenzy to eat healthy) I came across Bon Appetit's Food Lovers Cleanse. In theory it's a perfect way to jump start your year. Two weeks of healthy and delicious meals planned out along with a complete grocery list for each week sounds like a great way to simplify your life... until you start looking at the massive amounts of cooking and fancy/exotic foods required. I'm not still not sure how anyone with a job (or children) would have the time or money to prepare their breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes every single day for 2 weeks.
So while it didn't take me long to figure out that it was a completely unreasonable plan to follow, individually a lot of the recipes sounded excellent and totally approachable. I ended up making/being inspired by multiple recipes, including this roasted beet soup and pork tenderloin with porcini broth. Both were super simple, incredibly approachable, and had a ton of great flavor.
The soup, other than being stunning, tasted like what it says: roasted beets. The flavor gets mellowed out a bit with the buttermilk, and has a great texture after pureeing/chilling the soup.
|I loved the bright pink color of this beet soup!|
Roasted Beet Soup, adapted from Bon Appetit's 2015 Food Lovers Cleanse
The original recipe called for a full tablespoon of caraway seeds, which was just a bit too potent for me (as I'm not a huge fan). I still liked the soup as is, but next time I'd cut the full tablespoon down a bit. That suggestion is included below.
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp to 1 TBSP caraway seeds, to taste
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds of beets, roasted and chopped
1 cup buttermilk, divided, plus more for serving
Fresh dill sprigs, cracked pepper (for serving)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add caraway seeds and cook, stirring, until they start to pop and dance around in the pan, about 1 minute.
- Quickly add onion, leek, and a splash of water to keep seeds from burning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 5–7 minutes.
- Add beets and 2½ cups water to pan; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors come together, 15–20 minutes.
- Let mixture cool slightly, then purée in a blender in 2 batches, adding ½ cup buttermilk to each batch (or use an immersion blender directly in your pot).
- If serving warm: gently heat soup, adding water to adjust consistency if needed. Serve drizzled with buttermilk and topped with dill sprigs and cracked pepper. If serving cold: refrigerate soup until ready to serve. Serve drizzled with buttermilk or topped with yogurt/crème fraîche.
½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms (about ¾ cup)
1 1¼-lb. pork tenderloin
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, finely chopped
4 oz. wild or cultivated mushrooms (a combination of black trumpet, maitake, chanterelle, beech, oyster, and/or shiitake), trimmed, halved if large
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place porcinis in a heatproof bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Set aside until porcinis are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid and mushrooms. Finely chop mushrooms.
- Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat 1 TBSP oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until browned on all sides, 6–8 minutes.
- Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 140°F, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing ½” thick (about 15 slices).
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 TBSP oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, mushrooms, and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute. Add porcini broth, chopped porcinis, and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.
- Divide pork among shallow bowls and ladle broth and vegetables over top.