Babcia's Beet Soup
Beets are one of my favourite fertility foods for so many reasons. They're high in boron, an important mineral for the production of sex hormones and, appropriately, in ancient Roman times beet juice was considered an aphrodisiac. Another important mineral for fertility and pregnancy is iron, which beets are literally bursting with. Keeping the liver in top working condition should be a priority for those trying to conceive, as it performs HUNDREDS of essential functions in the body. Beets support the liver in eliminating toxins and excess hormones from the body, particularly excess estrogen. Beet greens (the tops) are also incredibly nutritious, containing even more iron and calcium than the roots, as well as very high levels of folate.
My Polish Babcia (Grandma) passed this recipe down to my mom, who passed it down to me. Knowing that a long line of women in my family have been nourishing themselves and their families with this soup brings me great comfort and a deep connection to my ancestry and the land. I’ve always loved it in late summer, as days are getting shorter and cooler and beautiful bunches of beets are plentiful at the farmer’s markets and in the garden. It’s a light soup, so it’s also appropriate for warmer summer days.
1 bunch young beets with greens (5 to 6 beets) 2 tablespoons butter or ghee 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 3 cloves garlic (or more if you prefer), minced or chopped 1 large carrot, chopped 2 stalks celery ,chopped 1 bay leaf 4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup fresh dill, chopped roughly approx. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (enough to offset the sweetness of the beets and make the soup tangy) salt and pepper to taste Sour cream or yogurt (optional, add to bowl when serving) *I use sheep's milk yogurt, which isn't inflammatory like cow dairy
Nitrite-free bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional, to add to bowl when serving)
Cut beets off at stems. Wash beets and slice into julienne strips. No need to peel fresh, young beets. Wash greens and stems and chop and set aside. In a soup pot heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden, adding a splash of water if they start to stick to the pan. Add carrots and celery and sauté a few more minutes. Add broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper, and julienned beets. Bring to a boil, and then simmer about 15 minutes until beets are almost tender. Add beet greens, stems, and apple cider vinegar and cook for about another 5 minutes. Add dill. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may need to add more salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to achieve your desired tangy-ness. Optional: Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt in each bowl and a sprinkling of crispy bacon.