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Beet Soup with Sage

1 bunch small beets (about 4 or 5 beets)
broccoli and cauliflower stems, peeled (optional)
1/2 c rice vinegar (unsweetened)
4 sage leaves
1/2 c white zinfandel or other white wine
2 large shallots
4 small cloves garlic
1 T canola oil
salt
pepper, fresh crushed
few drops maple syrup
2 T creme fraiche

Thickly slice the beets and simmer in water ~30 minutes until cooked.
Include the stems of leftover cruciferous veggies in this simmer.
Strain and place in a bowl with 1/2 c rice vinegar and water to cover.
Let sit overnight in the refrigerator, or for as long as you can.
Use the beet leaves for making a green veggie to eat.

The next day, or later:
Strain the beets from this liquid, place in a food processor with
sage leaves (stems removed). Process, adding a little wine or water
as needed. (Discard the vinegar, or save it for the next batch of
vinegared beets, in the fridge).

Slice the shallots and garlic. Saute in a little of the canola oil,
with the shallots first, then later add the garlic (in order to avoid
overtoasting the garlic). After about 4 or 5 minutes, add the wine.
Simmer a minute or two. Add this mixture to the food processor and
continue processing. It is nicer if some graininess remains, but a
fine graininess.

Place this mixture back in a pan. Add about 1 or 2 cups of hot water,
remaining canola oil, and salt (1/4 tsp) and pepper to taste. Stir
and simmer a few minutes, add 3 drops maple syrup. Pour into 2 regular
or 1 large wide soupbowl, leave room on top. Top with 1 or 2 T creme
fraiche, and stir in well. Serve hot.

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