Spiced beet ginger soup with lime coconut cream

beet soup + lime coconut cream

beet soup + lime coconut cream

Although it’s spring and the sun has been shining here in New York, it still hasn’t gotten warm enough for me to stop making soup.  And, after eating a bowl of this soup, I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before now. Pairing beets with ginger seems so obvious but unlike carrot and ginger soup I hadn’t seen it anywhere before. This soup does benefit from a good amount of carrots to temper the assertive qualities of the beets and the cool coconut cream helps mellow out the chili and ginger. Topped with beet micro greens, this soup looks fancy but it really is just a simple pureed soup—not unlike the 3 simple recipes I posted here last week.

Beets, coconut and lime are also a great combination; the first time I them together was in a little café nestled on the border of the Daintree Rainforest in Northern Queensland (Australia), many years ago. The Daintree grows right up to the beach and I remember sitting outside against a backdrop of huge, ancient trees.  The café had a veggie burger with a shredded beet and coconut salad on the menu and I ordered it. Beets (marinated or shredded) are a common addition to burgers and sandwiches in Australia. Since we were in tropical Queensland there was fresh coconut added along with lime juice and plenty of avocado. The only other thing I can remember about the burger is that it was really good!

If you have never scooped the coconut cream off the top of a can of chilled coconut milk you’ll love making this lime coconut cream. There are plenty of recipes online for using it in vegan frostings and fillings but here it’s used in a savory way instead.  I now always keep a can in the fridge in case inspiration strikes.

micro beet greens

micro beet greens

Beet ginger soup with chili and lime coconut cream

I didn’t peel the beets for this recipe, but it might be a good idea if the beets aren’t perfectly fresh. You want the carrot cut at least double the size of the beets since they will cook much faster. If your carrots are not large, consider adding them after the beets have cooked for 10 minutes.

Makes about 7 cups soup/serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1 onion, diced

Sea salt

4 garlic cloves

2-inch piece peeled ginger

1 jalapeno or other fresh chili, seeded and chopped

3 medium red beets, cut in ½ inch dice

6 large carrots, cut in 1 inch rounds

Filtered water

Tamari to taste.

Optional beet micro greens to serve

Warm coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until golden. Stir in a large pinch of sea salt, garlic, ginger and chili and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add beets and carrots and enough water to cover the vegetables by about half an inch (you will need to add more water when you blend the soup). Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little before blending in an upright blender until completely smooth and velvety, adding more water to get desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and tamari. Serve warm topped with lime coconut cream.

Lime coconut cream

Lime coconut cream

Photos by Stephen Johnson.

Lime coconut cream

For best results don’t shake the can before placing in the fridge as you want to scoop off the thick coconut cream that rises to the surface.

Makes about ½ a cup


1 13.5 fl. oz can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, chilled in refrigerator for 24 hours

Zest of one lime

Juice of one lime

Sea salt to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper, optional

Open can of coconut milk and scoop off the thick cream at the top. Save remaining milk for use in smoothies or desserts. Place in a bowl and add lime zest and juice, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until completely smooth and season to taste. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like.

Print recipe here.