The woody aroma of cinnamon
Roasted beetroot and cinnamon soup has a sweet earthy flavour, together with the woody aroma of cinnamon. With a dollop of tart Greek yoghurt on top and fresh mint leaves, I think it’s a great flavour combination, reminiscent of a borscht. The soup’s also delicious with sprigs of fresh dill.
There are two spices commonly referred to as cinnamon. Sri Lankan (Ceylon) cinnamon, Cinnamomum zelanicum, was previously the only variety available in Australia.
Cassia, Cinnamomum cassia, comes from Indonesia and Vietnam. It’s is often confused with Sri Lankan cinnamon. Cassia has a very sweet, pungent aroma and an almost bitter aftertaste when used excessively. It goes by many names: Dutch Cinnamon, Baker’s Cinnamon, Bastard Cinnamon and Batavia Cinnamon.
Australian-grown Cinnamon Verumin
Australian-grown Cinnamon Verumin comes from the Daintree Rainforest in far north QLD. The bark is carefully removed by hand from a few trees on a small family vanilla plantation in Cow Bay. You can buy it in small quantities ground into powder form. It has a mild, sweet aroma.
I was thrilled to add this Australian-grown cinnamon to my spice collection, along with some other Australian native spices on a recent family holiday to the Daintree Rainforest.
Beetroots: the versatile vegetables
Beetroots are such versatile vegetables to have in the fridge. They last for a a few weeks. They’re delicious roasted with olive oil and vinegar and added to a dip or a salad. Beetroots can also be pickled, or grated raw into a coleslaw, blended with carrots, oranges and ginger into a juice or added to a cake.
Roasting vegetables with different spices
Roasting vegetables with different spices is a great way to experiment with different flavours. In our household, it’s also a great way to get my kids to try new foods.
Previously, I’ve roasted beetroots with cinnamon sticks to make a dip. I wondered what the combination would taste like in a soup, so I gave it a try with the roasted beetroot and cinnamon soup.
I try to buy smaller beetroot for roasting as they take less time to cook. There’s no need to peel the beetroots as the skin softens when roasting – there’s less food waste, too. This soup was delicious, both hot and cold!
I often buy purple carrots from Farmer and Son at my local growers’ market, but you can easily substitute them with orange carrots if that’s what you have on hand. Purple carrots tend to have a more woody texture than orange carrots, and sometimes they have a slight peppery taste.
Carrots, like beetroot, were historically grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds rather than their roots. They are native to Europe and south-western Asia. Wild red, black, yellow, white and purple carrots grew in Afghanistan in the 7th century. Orange carrots, however, were first cultivated by the Dutch.
Did you know that carrots seeds were brought to Australia on the First Fleet in 1788? They were grown on Norfolk Island by convicts. Baby carrots are simply carrots that have been harvested earlier than mature larger carrots. I often save the leaves from baby carrots to make pesto.
Warming winter soups
PS: If you’ve tried this roasted beetroot and cinnamon soup, or any other recipe from At Amanda’s Table, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. And, if you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.
Roasted Beetroot Soup with Cinnamon
- 3 beetroot, skin on, washed and cut into quarters
- 3 purple carrots, washed and roughly chopped substitute with orange carrots
- 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped substitute with brown onion
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 L vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- 4 sprigs mint or dill
- pretzels or crusty bread to serve
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
- Line a small baking dish with baking paper. Place beetroot wedegs in the dish. Spoon over 2 tbsp of the olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and add cinamon sticks.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast for about an hour until the beetroot is tender when pierced with a knife (this will depend a lot on the size of your beetroot).
- Saute red onion in the remaining olive oil in a large saucpean. Cook for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the chopped carrots. Cook another 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil.
- Add the beetroot, the cooking juices and the cinamon sticks and bring the soup to a simmer.
- Cook for another 10 minutes until the carrots are soft.
- Remove from heat and remove the cinamon sticks.
- Cool for 10 minutes, the puree with a hand-held blender.
- Season to taste, garnish with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprig of dill. Alternatively, refrigerate for 3-4 hours until cold and serve chilled.