1 onion, chopped
3 cups peeled and chopped beets
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms
1 large cooking apple, chopped
2 Tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
2 ½ quarts stock or water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Pinch of dried thyme
1 large bay leaf
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Place the chopped vegetables and apple in a large saucepan with the oil and 3 Tablespoons of the stock or water. Cover and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
2. Stir in the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining stock or water, the thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
3. Bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pan and turn down the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaf and puree the vegetables in a food processor or a blender.
5. Return the vegetables to the saucepan. Reheat. Check the seasoning.
6. Serve into soup bowls. Garnish with swirls of sour cream and top with a few sprigs of dill, rosemary or thyme for color.