We don’t celebrate locally-grown beetroot enough.

“The red variety, of which the aptly named bull’s blood is one, is part of a vibrant family of vivid yellows, whites and candy pinks, all of which work well in this sweet, earthy, quick-to-make soup,” says Gill Meller in his new book, Root, Stem, Leaf And Flower.


The River Cottage chef says to serve this colourful dish steaming hot in autumn, or chilled in summer.

Beetroot Soup (Andrew Montgomery/PA)
Beetroot Soup (Andrew Montgomery/PA)
Beetroot Soup (Andrew Montgomery/PA)
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Beetroot soup with celery and apple
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 88mg4%
Potassium 532mg15%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 101IU2%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Beetroot soup with celery and apple

Pretty as a picture
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Gill Meller


  • Medium, heavy-based pan with lid
  • Blender
  • Ladle
  • Bowl


  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 raw beetroot (about 600g), peeled and roughly diced
  • 4 tender celery sticks thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 dessert apples
  • 200 ml cloudy apple juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To serve (optional)

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • a scattering of basil leaves
  • spoonfuls of natural yoghurt
  • 4 small baked dessert apples


  • Place a medium, heavy-based pan over a gentle heat. Add the olive oil and when it’s hot add the beetroot, celery, garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring regularly, for 12–15 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to soften and smell sweet and tasty.
  • Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core the apples, then slice them thickly. When the vegetables are ready, add the apples to the pan, stir, then cook for a further one to two minutes before adding 600ml of water. Place a lid on the pan and bring the soup to the simmer. Leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Ladle the soup into a blender. Add the apple juice and whiz until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and bring it briefly back to the simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.
  • If you intend to serve the soup cold, leave it to cool, then transfer it to a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for three to four hours.
  • You can serve the soup just as it is, but I like to finish it with a swirl of olive oil, a scattering of fresh basil, a spoonful of organic natural yoghurt, and even a small, whole baked apple, but that’s entirely optional.


Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: How To Cook With Vegetables And Other Plants by Gill Meller, photography by Andrew Montgomery, is published by Quadrille.

Try Gill Meller’s courgette flatbreads with herbs and goat’s cheese.

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