Serves 4
400g uncooked beetroot
1 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
1 eating apples
30g unsalted butter plus a knob extra
100ml dry cider
500ml litres chicken or veg stock stock
sea salt and black pepper
Several sprigs of thyme
about 2 tbsp crème fraiche or vegan cream cheese

Trim, peel and slice the beetroot. Peel and chop the onions. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel, core and slice the apples.
Melt the butter in a large pan over a lowish heat and fry the onions and garlic for 5-8 minutes until soft and glossy, stirring occasionally. Add the beetroot and apples and continue to fry for another 5 minutes, again stirring occasionally. Add the cider and reduce until syrupy, and then add the stock and herbs and some seasoning. Bring to the boil over a high heat, and then cover and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.
Purée the soup in batches in a food processor (or blender if you like a very smooth soup), and then return it to the saucepan and taste to check the seasoning. Finish with a sprinkle of thyme in the centre and a dollop of crème fraiche or cream alternative on top. Eat straight away.

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