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March 7, 2012

Recipe for beet, orange and five-spice soup


My husband Ted adores beets, so I snagged a quart of this beet, orange and five-spice soup at our Soup Swap last month. Jessica's write-ups of her soups are always as much fun as the soups are delicious, so I turn the rest of this post over to her: "I made this soup up one afternoon when I found a lovely bunch of beets in my fridge that I had bought at the last farmers' market of the Fall. I can't decide what to call it... The Beet Goes On Soup (for friends who remember when bell-bottoms first were popular along with headbands and VW buses). Beat Soup to Make You Howl (for love ones who can not stop listening to Allen Ginsberg). Ruby Tuesday Soup (for your rock-n-roll vegetarian friends). Beet-le Juice (for 7 year olds who will eat it just to see if their you-know-what comes out pink). Beet, Orange, and Five-Spice Soup (for your mother who still can't belive Gourmet Magazine is gone)."

Beet, orange and five-spice soup

Serves 4.


4 2-to 2-1/2-inch-diameter beets (about 3 1/2 cups when cut up into chunks)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 cup orange juice
Kosher salt
½ tsp orange zest (optional)
Bread-and-butter pickles to garnish (4 tsp chopped)


Wash and cut up beets into chunks and steam until tender.  (Boil them it you have less time, or roast them in a 400°F oven if you want a really rich flavor.)

Dice the onion and sauté it in the your soup pot with the olive oil until it is translucent. Add the orange juice and reduce it until the liquid is syrupy. Add the five-spice power. Heat for a few minutes to help the spices deepen their flavor.

Add the cooked beet chunks, orange zest, and veggie broth. Simmer for 20-30 minutes to meld the flavors. Salt to taste -- this may vary depending your broth. 

Put soup into blender (in batches and cooled -- unless you want to make a big mess or burn yourself -- recommended) and purée to desired consistency. 

Reheat to serve. It can be very “beety” and some people think it is nice with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. But I prefer it with a garnish of chopped bread-and-butter pickles.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Kalyn | March 7, 2012 at 01:41 PM

I love beets too, just wish they were more SBD friendly. But I would splurge if I had a bowl of this in front of me!

Posted by: Lydia | March 8, 2012 at 06:39 AM

Kalyn, I know that the sugar in beets keeps them from being kind to low-carb diets. It's also what makes this soup so seductive -- well, that, and the color!

Posted by: Polly | July 6, 2014 at 07:32 PM

Hello, where do I get the Chinese five spice powder? Thanks

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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