I live down the street from Turtle Bread, and we’ve been there a few times. For awhile we kept going back in order to figure out the appeal. So many people we know like it, so we thought perhaps we were missing something or not doing it the right way. To me, it’s a very confusing restaurant concept and one that makes me uncomfortable. I hate ordering at the counter, I’m never sure if I’m in the kitchen or the patron dining area and ultimately, the food is mediocre. We tried having lunch at the new restaurant, Tosca last weekend until we arrived and discovered that it is actually Turtle Bread. They only offer table service for dinner, so we walked. You know how I feel about pasta anyway! Yuck!
Today is a wet, cold and dreary Spring day in Minneapolis, and I overheard one of my co-workers mention that it was a good day to go to Turtle Bread for soup. She is right about the soup, but it wouldn’t be coming from Turtle Bread. I know that soup is one of the easiest, least expensive and most satisfying things to make fresh at home. I can’t imagine ever ordering it in a restaurant because I can’t imagine that it could be better than homemade.
Tonight’s soup ended up being a Roasted Yellow Beet & Sweet Potato Soup that I served with chunks of cheddar and corn tortillas locally made by the Whole Grain Milling Company in Welcome Minnesota. Last weekend I roasted two large yellow beets and forgot to use them in a salad so they were waiting in the fridge for inspiration. I also had on hand a large sweet potato. The sweet of the beets and the sweet potato paired well with the tomato base of organic Muir Glen tomatoes. Jeff and I both enjoyed it, and Max devoured two bowls! It’s a winner! The recipe follows.
Roasted Yellow Beet & Sweet Potato Soup
1 medium yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
1 large sweet potato
2 large roasted yellow beets
1 large can Muir Glen diced tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 tsp. dried basil
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground curry powder (I used Penzey’s Vindaloo)
salt & pepper to taste
chunks of cheddar to top soup
tortilla chips or crackers
Directions: In a large soup pot warm the oil on low heat while you dice the onion. Mix the onion into the oil and let it slowly saute. I remove the skins from the garlic and chop them in the food processor. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic. Keep the heat low, so the garlic can cook, but not burn. Max and Jeff don’t like chunks of tomato, so I puree the diced tomatoes. Add the tomato puree to the pot, and dice the sweet potato. Add these to the pot and raise the heat just enough to bring the tomatoes to a slow simmer. Add a little water to thin out. I added about two cups. Add spices and let cook. While the soup is cooking, I chop the bunch of cilantro in the food processor, and cut up chunks of cheese to top the soup. Sweet potatoes don’t take long to cook, so check them after about five minutes. While the soup cooks, I peel and dice the beets. Toss the beets in the pot after the sweet potatoes are soft. Let warm for about a minute and then mix in the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with cheese and chips.
This meal for eight is entirely organic, took me about twenty minutes to prepare, and cost less than $7.00. You can’t beat that at Turtle Bread.