Five-Spice Beet Soup
4 2- to 2 1/2-inch-diameter beets, scrubbed, trimmed, unpeeled, each cut into 6 wedges (about 3 1/2 cups)
3 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 celery stalk with leaves, stalk chopped, leaves sliced
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp (or more) Chinese five-spice powder
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Place beet wedges in 4-cup glass measuring cup. Add 2 cups broth; cover with paper plate and microwave on high until tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chopped celery stalk; cover and cook until almost tender and translucent, stirring often, about 12 minutes.
Add beet mixture and 1 cup broth to onion mixture; cover and simmer 4 minutes. Mix in ginger and 1/4 tsp five-spice powder. Transfer to lender; cover and puree. Season soup to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice and additional five-spice powder, if desired; rewarm if necessary.
Serve and top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and sliced celery leaves.
-Bon Appetit February 2009