Beetroot soup with basil labne

Beetroot soup with basil labne

Emilie Guelpa

Rich and restorative, this vibrantly coloured soup is so easy to prepare–simply simmer diced beetroot in an aromatic broth until tender. The addition of basil labneturns it into a luscious winter meal, but you’ll need to start the labne a day ahead.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 medium beetroot, peeled and cut into 1 cm dice
80ml orange juice
1 litre chicken stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Basil labne

Quantity Ingredient
500g plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon salt
finely chopped basil leaves, for coating
olive oil, to cover (optional)


  1. To make the basil labne, place a sieve over a bowl and line with muslin or a clean tea towel. Mix the yoghurt and salt together. Place the yoghurt in the cloth, then fold the cloth over so the yoghurt is covered. Place the yoghurt (still in the sieve, over the bowl) in the refrigerator and leave to drain overnight.
  2. Divide the labne into small balls using teaspoons. Roll the labne balls in the chopped basil leaves and set aside. (If you want to store them for later use, place the labne balls in a clean jar, cover with olive oil and refrigerate for 3–4 days.)
  3. To make the soup, heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and celery and cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the garlic and diced beetroot and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Stir in the orange juice, stock and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the beetroot is tender.
  6. Add salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, then check the seasoning. Serve each bowl with two or three basil labne balls in the soup.
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