Naturally delicious real food.

Spicy beetroot and coconut soup

Sometimes you try a recipe and it’s just perfect – well this is one of those, created by Simon Rimmer for a TV show called Something for the weekend, this stunning soup is a combination of coconut milk, lemon grass and cumin lifting the common garden beetroot to a new heady height of deliciousness. Definitely our most popular soup and the one we are asked most often to give out the recipe for; I know it is good as Hannah, who cooks with me here and a great cook, served it at her own birthday dinner.

Our vegetable garden is beginning to burst into life, we are picking wonderful salad leaves and herbs and everything else is following closely behind – if you need a little inspiration or advice to get going take a look at The Grower – a gardening school run by Belinda Gray, a friend of mine here in Suffolk who offers great courses. Then you could grow your own beetroot for this soup, it will taste even better!

Just had to include a photograph of a Candy beetroot  which I have just cooked- the colours were unreal – they look amazing in salads, you could use in the soup but the colour will not be so red and intense but have an orange hue.


Spicy beetroot and coconut soup

Serves 6

For the spice paste

  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded if you don’t want too much heat
  • 5cm/2in fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 lime, juice only

For the soup

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 banana shallots(or 4 round shallots), finely chopped
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g/1lb 2oz ready cooked beetroot (not the kind prepared with vinegar), chopped
  • 600ml/1 pint vegetable stock
  • 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the herby yoghurt

  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt -use soya yoghurt for dairy free/vegan
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
  • 5cm/2in cucumber, deseeded, chopped
  • flatbread, to serve


For the spice paste, put all the paste ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth (the smoother the paste the better the soup, so take your time).

For the soup, heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots, salt and cumin seeds and fry gently for a few minutes until the shallots have softened. Add the spice paste and cook for about five minutes to release the fragrance.

Add the beetroot and cook for two minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 7-8 minutes.

For the herby yoghurt, mix the yoghurt with the fresh mint, coriander and cucumber.

Just before serving, put the soup and coconut milk into a food processor and blend until smooth (don’t do this in advance or the colour will turn brownish). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, reheat the soup gently for a few minutes. Pour into bowls and swirl in some of the herby yoghurt. Serve with flatbread.

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Through The Natural Pantry I hope to share with you some of the delicious recipes discovered whilst cooking in my kitchen with produce grown in our garden and the very best natural ingredients.