6 medium red beets, scrubbed and cut into quarters
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 large cloves garlic
Kosher salt and pepper
3-4 cups veggie or chicken broth
1 leek, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a large baking sheet toss together the beets and garlic with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes or until the beets are tender and the garlic has caramelized. Watch the garlic closely; if the cloves are small, they will cook faster than the beets.
Allow the beets to cool slightly. Remove the skins from the garlic. Transfer the roasted beets and garlic to a high-powered blender or food processor. Add 1 cup of veggie broth and puree until smooth.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the leeks and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the beet puree, the remaining 2 cups of veggie broth, the milk and the balsamic vinegar. Simmer over medium low heat until the soup is heated through and steaming. Add the crumbled goat cheese and continue cooking until the cheese melts and the soup is creamy.
Ladle the soup into bowls. To make hearts, mix the Greek yogurt with a little milk to make it easily drizzle able. Add the mix to a Ziploc bag and snip off a little of the corner of the bag. Draw a heart onto the soup. Enjoy!