- 1 pound medium beets, stems removed
- 1 fennel bulb, about 3/4 pound, core and stems removed, and quartered
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1/4 cup small diced carrot
- 1/4 cup small diced celery
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken stock, or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
- 1/4 cup toasted, crushed pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a bowl, place the beets, fennel, 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast until caramelized, about 1 hour.
- Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, peel beets and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
- In a medium, heavy pot, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the fennel, beets and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender, puree the soup. Refrigerate the puree until cool, at least 2 hours.
- In a small bowl combine the sour cream, apple sauce, mint, and sage and stir to combine.
- Ladle the chilled soup into serving bowls, top with a dollop of Apple-Sage-Mint Crema and some of the crushed pistachios, and serve.