By Helen Westwater

La Ola Fresca 

This month’s recipe combines the earthy red of beetroot and the pure white of coconut milk with a heady mix of spices, to steer off any last winter colds and cheer the hearts of any lost Valentinos.

Beetroot, happily a vegetable that is available all year in Valencia, is well known for its liver-cleansing qualities and its ability to increase blood ow to the brain. However, it may also aid blood flow to other parts, as ancient Romans believed eating beetroot produced amorous feelings and it has since been used as an aphrodisiac.

So as we head to Valentine’s Day and also the Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey, we present our ‘Red Valentine Beetroot Soup’.

First prepare the spices by finely blending the lemon grass and peeled fresh ginger. You can easily find these ingredients in the Chinese shops around the main train station. Heat the oil gently and add the blended spices (except the cumin). Cook gently for a few minutes and then add the finely chopped shallots. Leave the shallots to soften for a few minutes. Next, add the cooked beetroot and a dessertspoon of ground cumin and stir. Then add the tin of coconut milk. When it has come to the boil add the vegetable stock. Leave to cook for about 30 minutes, being careful that it does not overboil. Blend all the ingredients so that the soup is smooth. Mix in the juice of one lime (to taste) and season with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, heat a little oil in a frying pan and add cumin seeds. Decorate individual bowls with the oil and cumin and a few sprigs of coriander.

BEETROOT AND COCONUT SOUP 

Ingredients 

•350 gm (2-3) large fresh beetroots cooked, peeled and chopped in cubes

•2 shallots

•1 stick lemon grass

•1 inch fresh ginger

•1 dessertspoon cumin spice

•1 tablespoon olive oil

•1 can (14 oz / 140 ml) coconut milk

•450 ml vegetable stock

•Juice of 1 lime

•Seasoning to taste

•Cumin seeds and more oil + sprigs of
coriander leaves for decoration

VALENTINE RED BEETROOT SOUP 

February in La Ola Fresca
Every Thursday
20.00h: Speak English’ language practice
Every Sunday:
11.00h – 16.00h: Brunch
18.00h – 20.00h: Intercambio
Friday 5th
20.00h: Inauguration ‘Wild Wood Fairies’ exhibition by Ditta Puhoy
Saturday 6th
12.00h: Acoustic presentation ‘Tomaccos’ + vermut session
Saturday 13th
11.00h (Jardines Viveros): Chi Gong

class with Olga Fedina followed by Dim Sum dumplings, Chinese New Year celebration at La Ola Fresca
Sunday 14th 

20.00h: Señor San Brownie-time – ‘Poetry of Love and Hate’, Micro abierto with David Tortosa
Saturday 27th 

17.00h: ‘Cook, Bake, Learn English’, informal cookery class to practice English
Happy New Year of the Fire Monkey!

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