Photo: Christopher Testani; Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 3/4 cup soup, 2 tablespoons pickles, and 2 teaspoons amaranth)

This vegetarian soup gets a major boost from the toasted amaranth—an ancient grain that adds a delicious nutty flavor. If your local store doesn't carry it, you can order it online or substitute toasted sesame seeds, which also taste good. To make it vegan just swap out the butter for your favorite cooking oil.

How to Make It

Step 1

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add fennel, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and cook 20 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turmeric; cook 30 seconds. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Add golden beets and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beets are tender.

Step 2

While soup simmers, combine Chioggia beets, juice, sugar, and cilantro; let stand 30 minutes. Drain.

Step 3

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add amaranth; cook 1 minute or until toasted, shaking pan constantly. Pour into a bowl.

Step 4

Place half of soup in a blender. Remove center piece of lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a towel over opening in lid. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Repeat with remaining soup mixture. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and red pepper. Spoon mixture into shallow bowls. Top with pickled Chioggias; sprinkle with amaranth.

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