• Helen Phillips

Beetroot Soup with Feta

I’m training for an autumn marathon, so at weekends I’m subjecting myself, not to beers and BBQ’s, but early nights and a hilly Sunday long slow run. Each week my Sunday run is getting longer and I’m beginning to question the logic of choosing an “undulating” training route. I need all the help I can get!

The running community is so inclusive. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice trying to walk-run to get around your first park-run, if you’re aiming for a sub 3 hour marathon (I’m not, but I have a good friend who will get there shortly!) or an ultra runner planning another attempt at an across a continent run. I find everyone is willing to help and has something to share, whether it’s injury prevention, hill training, core conditioning, tips for controlling your doubts or how to fuel for your run. I’m a sponge for tips and information, especially if it’s backed up by good science.

Which is why I’ve learned to love beetroot.

Beetroot juice has been scientifically proven to aid endurance. That means you can exercise (whether its running or cycling) at a set intensity for longer. And as a training marathon runner, that sounds like a good thing!

So what can you do with a beetroot? Apart from turning your kitchen pink!

My first, and go to easy recipe for beetroot, is beetroot soup. There are loads of recipes for beetroot soup, or Borscht (vodka is optional), but I like to keep it simple.

Peel 3-4 beetroot, then blitz in a food processor until finely chopped.

In a saucepan, sweat half a finely chopped onion and 1 crushed garlic clove in a small glug of olive oil until soft. Then add the beetroot. Give everything a good stir and cook the beetroot for a few minutes over a medium heat.

Make up ~500ml of veg stock (I use swiss vegetable bouillon, but by all means make your own stock!), by adding 2 teaspoons to 500ml of boiling water. Add the stock to the veg and bring to a boil. Simmer your soup for 15 minutes, after which time the beetroot will have cooked.

If you have chopped your beetroot fine, and don’t mind lumps (or just don’t have the time), your soup is good to go. But I recommend, cooling the soup slightly and then giving it a blitz in a blender (or with a blender stick, but watch you don’t spray the kitchen pink!) until the soup is blended and smooth.

Return the blended soup to the pan and reheat gently. Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper, before ladling into bowls. Sprinkle feta onto and eat.

I’m not sure if this does help me with my running, but I’ll keep eating beetroot in the hope that it does!


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