Beetroot and bramley soup with horseradish: The Fast Diet

Beetroot and Bramley soup

Beetroot and Bramley soup - Credit: Romas Foord

One man’s health scare led to the creation of a new diet, which is fast becoming a worldwide health movement

Calorie count 116

The idea for this tangy autumn soup came from my friend Alex Renton, who made it for me one chilly lunchtime at his home in Edinburgh.

I loved it so much that I made it for chef Allegra McEvedy, who asked to use it in her Guardian column, and now it’s turning up here, a triumph of recipe recycling.

This is the fast day version – no butter for sweating the onion, a swirl of yoghurt instead of cream – but it’s no less tasty than the original.

It freezes like a dream, so you could double the quantities and have it handy as the nights draw in.


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Serves four:

500g raw beetroot

2 medium onions, roughly chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 Bramley apples, peeled, quartered and cored with a squeeze of lemon to prevent discolouration

1 1/2 litres light chicken or vegetable stock

2 star anise

snipped chives

salt and pepper

1 tsp horseradish sauce

1 tbsp natural low-fat yoghurt


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

2 Place the beetroot in 1cm water in a baking tray.

3 Cook for an hour, or until a knife meets with little resistance, then take them out and run under cold water for a couple of minutes until cool enough to peel.

4 Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan.

5 Add onions and sweat over a medium heat with the lid on until soft but not coloured.

6 Add apple quarters.

7 Roughly chop the peeled beetroots and add to the pan.

8 Pour on the stock, add star anise and seasoning and simmer for 15 minutes.

9 Remove star anise, then blitz the soup with a hand blender until puréed.

10 Serve with snipped chives and a swirl of yoghurt mixed with the horseradish sauce.