It doesn’t get much easier than this Sweet Potato And Beet Green Soup. Make a big pot, and you’ll have delicious, healthy, vegan meals ready for days! Read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.
In the colder months, soups and stews make up most of what I eat. I am one of those people who always struggles to stay warm, so the prospect of eating cold things in the winter rarely appeals.
I’ve been known to wander into the kitchen hungry, open the fridge, and immediately close it again because everything in there is cold. Uh, DUH. This actually leads to most of my unhealthy eating habits in the winter, because I’m cold and too lazy to cook anything. Which means there’s nothing to eat but cookies and tortilla chips. (You follow my logic? Please tell me I’m not alone, here.)
Soup, however, is suuuper easy (see what I did there?), and it’s one of those few foods where the leftovers are just as good if not better. Even my lazy, shivering self can get on board with making soup once or twice a week so I always have a delicious — hot — healthy meal option.
Other reasons to make soup: delicious, full of healthy veggies, delicious, inexpensive, and did I mention delicious?
This sweet potato and beet green number is my latest obsession. Beet greens are a lot like kale or chard, but instead of paying $4 for a tiny bundle, you buy yourself some beets and get the greens free. FREE.
I feel like I’ve found a loophole in the system, here.
Because of this recent discovery, I’ve been using beet greens in place of kale or chard in most of my recipes. The leaves taste almost exactly like chard, and the stems are similar to chard stems but with a hint of beetiness — which I really like, because fresh beets (not canned) are delicious.
If you aren’t a fan of beets, you’ll probably still like the stems just fine — but if you don’t want to buy beets just for their greens, you can certainly swap the greens in this recipe for chard or kale, whichever you prefer. Just keep in mind that kale stems should probably be discarded, as they’re quite a bit woodier than chard or beet stems.
(Wait, you don’t like beets? Have you tried them roasted? I have yet to find someone who turned up their nose at this roasted beet salad, and now I’m on a mission to convert everyone I know to a beet lover.)
One of the best things about making soup is being able to change it up to fit whatever you have on hand.
Don’t have an onion? Use leeks. Or shallots. Don’t have beet greens? Use chard, or kale, or throw in a handful of spinach at the end… anything leafy green that you like.
Not a fan of sweet potatoes? Try butternut squash, or regular potatoes, or cubes of pumpkin. Want to make it gluten-free? Swap the farro for quinoa, or lentils. You get the idea. Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to soups, so anything goes.
Whatever you do, don’t stand in front of the fridge thinking there’s nothing good in there, ’cause whatever you have, you can totally make soup out of it. Note to self: Soup is always possible.
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 bunch beet greens (from about 4-6 beets), washed, stems removed and diced, leaves roughly chopped (*see recipe notes)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
- ½ tsp. each ground cumin, smoked paprika, and turmeric powder
- 1 cup farro
- 5-6 cups low sodium vegetable stock, or water, or a combination
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, add the olive oil, onion, beet stems (reserve the leaves for later), garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the onions have begun to turn translucent. Add the cumin, paprika, and turmeric, and cook for another 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
- Add the sweet potato and farro, followed by 5 cups of stock / water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until the farro is tender.
- Add in the beet greens, and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if the soup is too thick, a bit more water or stock. Stir in parsley at the very end.
- Soup can be served immediately, or cooled down and stored in the fridge for up to five days, or the freezer indefinitely. The farro will continue to absorb some more liquid as the soup cools, so if you reheat it and it seems too thick, add a bit more water or stock, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Farro is a form of ancient wheat, and therefor does contain gluten. If you'd like to make this soup gluten-free, you can swap the farro for quinoa or lentils. This will vary the cooking time a little, depending on what you use. (Quinoa cooks rather quickly, so I would add it after the sweet potatoes are about halfway cooked).
You can also swap the farro for other grains like barley or spelt, but keep in mind these do contain gluten.