Beetroot Soup and Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potato – Disgrace: The Literary Kitchen #4

“When all else fails, philosophize.”
― J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace

Disgrace_Full Spread

There’s a lot of philosophy in the book, much of it I didn’t understand. The novel is set in post-apartheid South Africa where David Lurie, a professor of communication and romantic poetry leads a somewhat comfortable life. The twice-divorced, 52 year-old has to leave the job when he gets sexually involved with one of his students. He goes to stay with his daughter at her farm where things look quiet and dull till their house is mobbed by a few locals.

Disgrace is not a comfortable read and Lurie is definitely not a character you would like, but you can’t hate him either. He’s a womanizer who calls himself lover of women with a desire to posses their bodies. Disgrace is a tragic book where at no point you see things getting better. Incidents and accidents occur and people learn to live with it. I would recommend it, despite its darkness because it’s beautifully written and quite gripping.

The recipes are from the scene where Lurie is eating supper at his daughter Lucy’s farm – a simple meal of soup, bread and roasted buttered sweet potatoes. The bread is multi grain which I baked at home, not giving the recipe here as I am no bread expert.

Also Read: Mushroom and Spinach Sandwich – The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea: The Literary Kitchen #3

Disgrace_Beetroot Soup

Beetroot Soup
Yields: 4 Large Soup Bowls

Beetroot – 4 medium sized
Tomatoes – 4 medium
Onion – 1 finely, chopped
Garlic – 5-6 cloves, crushed
Basil – 5-6 leaves, chopped
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Pepper – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lime – 1

1. Cut tomatoes in half, place them on a baking tray, drizzle 1/2 tbsp olive oil over them and pop them in the oven for 15-20 mins at 200 degree C.
2. Peel and grate the beetroot (grating them will give the soup a nice texture)
3. Heat oil in a pan and saute onions and crushed garlic. add grated beetroot once the onions turn pink.
4. Mash tomatoes once they are done and add to the pan.
5. Mix in basil leaves and cook for 10 minutes.
6. Run the mixture through a blender or food processor.
7. Heat the soup and add water to bring it to the desired consistency
8. Season with salt and pepper and spritz the lime over it just before serving.
9. Eat with bread

Disgrace_Sweet Potato

Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes
Yields: 2 portions

Sweet potatoes – 250 gms small sized, peeled
Butter – 2 tbsp
Rosemary – 2 tsp, fresh or dried
Lime – half

1. Preheat oven to 220 degree C
2. Place sweet potatoes on the baking dish, rub butter over them and toss them with rosemary.
3. Roast for 15-20 minutes.
4. Garnish with lime juice and eat.

Cooking, Styling and Photography – Shirin Mehrotra

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