Courtesy Katy Smith, executive creative chef, Puesto, San Diego
Beets are common in Mexican cuisine, especially around Christmas. While it could be served hot in the winter, chilling this soup gives a nice contrast to its rich spice.
Chef Katy Smith
With a longtime love of Mexican cuisine, Smith served as test kitchen director and culinary assistant to the American prince of Mexican cooking, Rick Bayless. She worked on his Emmy-nominated PBS television series, cookbooks and podcast. Smith returned to her native Southern California in 2016 to join the Puesto team as executive creative chef for its five locations, with another in the works.
- Olive oil, for pot
- 1 large white onion, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 12 ounces steamed beets, coarse-chopped
- 1 large (or 2 small) canned chipotle chile peppers
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Mexican crema
- Toasted pepitas
Heat soup pot over medium heat, and coat with olive oil. Add onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, oregano and salt. Cook 1 minute, then add chile, beets and stock. Bring to simmer, and cook 15 minutes.
Blend until smooth. Add adobo sauce from chipotle can, if desired. Pass through fine-mesh strainer. Chill in refrigerator.
Serve soup topped with dollop of crema and pinch of pepitas. Serves 4.
Lechuza 2015 Chardonnay Acero Inoxidable (Valle de Guadalupe). “This Chardonnay is stirred on the lees prior to filtration, giving it a slight creaminess that complements its lean, bright character,” says Lucien Conner, beverage director and manager at Puesto. “The wine’s crisp apple and citrus fruit draws up the sweetness of the beets, just as the wine’s acidity cuts it back. The minerality—typical of Valle de Guadalupe terroir—teases out a pleasing touch of the beets’ earthy character.