Ingredients

3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 stem fresh curry leaves, stems discarded
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
800g (4 medium beetroots), peeled and cut into 2cm dice
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
juice of ½ lemon
FOR THE TOASTED CUMIN YOGHURT
1 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, lightly toasted and roughly ground
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
FOR THE BUTTER-FRIED CURRY LEAVES
15g salted butter
handful fresh curry leaves
The sweet earthiness of beetroot forms the basis of this nourishing soup, which I adapted from one of my favourite Sri Lankan beetroot curries. It’s delicious just by itself, but the creamy, toasted-cumin yoghurt and buttery, fried curry leaves definitely add another dimension.

Instructions

1.Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat.
2.Add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop.
3.Add the curry leaves, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
4.Add the cumin and coriander and cook for a further 30 seconds before adding salt and tomatoes.
5.Cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes begin to collapse.
6.Add the chopped beetroot, coconut milk and 1½ cups water, stir well, cover with a lid and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the beetroot is tender, adding a touch more water if it’s looking too dry.
7.Remove from the heat, stir through the lemon juice then blend until smooth using either a handheld stick blender or by transferring carefully to an upright blender and blending on high.
8.Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
9.TO MAKE THE TOASTED CUMIN YOGHURT
10.Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
11.TO MAKE BUTTER-FRIED CURRY LEAVES
12.Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add curry leaves and cook, stirring continuously, until they are crispy and the butter is golden brown.
13.Serve the soup topped with a swirl of toasted cumin yoghurt, a few butter-fried curry leaves and a little drizzle of the lovely browned butter left in the pan.

Recipes, food styling & photography Emma Galloway

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